What does it mean practically from a halohik point of view to respect your wife.

Can i do it by standing for her when she comes in?

I know that by parents it is to feed, drink, dress, cover, take in, take out, and do this with a beautiful face (maybe to stand for them, and to do what they say you should do*****, if it is not against the Torah).

But it does not seem to me the way to understand respect your wife

Since in rambam ch. 15 halacha 19 it say "She should carry out all her deeds according to his directives, considering him to be an officer or a king. She should follow the desires of his heart and shun everything that he disdains".

I'm my mind this will be a contradiction. (maybe because I am Ashkenazi)

Maybe it can be understood from

Rambam ibid halacha 20 says "our Sages commanded that a man honor his wife more than his own person".
How much does a person need to respect himself (if we know this then he can do something extra for his wife)?

(I one heard it has to do only with clothing, if true please provide a source)

Is there a logical (hochmo bgoim) explanation of this respect? (Something like "first kill all the marriage counselors" but for men)

On this subject from rashi vaikra 19.3 it seems that doing what they tell you is fear not respect

...Although I have admonished you regarding the fear of your father, nevertheless, if he tells you to desecrate the Sabbath, do not listen to him...


3 Answers 3


Mitzvas Habayis - page 305 starts off that respecting your wife is talking about clothing and jewelry where one is supposed to do more for his wife than for himself. He goes on to say this includes food also.

  • Can you please tell me about this saifer (book)
    – hazoriz
    May 20, 2016 at 14:49
  • And the author please😃
    – hazoriz
    May 20, 2016 at 15:01
  • 1
    It was written by Rabbi Yosef David Epstein Zatzal who lived in Boro Park. It has Haskamos from Rabbi Eliezer Yehuda Finkel Zatzal, Rabbi Yechezkel Abramsky Zatzal, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein Zatzal, & Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner Zatzal. The author learned in the Mir for many years. It was published in 1966. It discusses living with a spouse, family, Chinuch according to Halacha, Mussar, and Mesorah. He also authored other Sefarim such as Mitzvas Hamusar and Toras HaAdam. May 20, 2016 at 15:27
  • "respecting your wife is talking about clothing and jewelry where one is supposed to do more for his wife than for himself" I don't undersand the English. Talk about these things around here more than you would talk about them if by yourself? Of you respect your wife by buying her trinkets?
    – Double AA
    May 20, 2016 at 15:46
  • 1
    @DoubleAA how do you respect yourself (by wearing clean RESPECTABLE clothing) he needs respect her more by having her have even more RESPECTABLE clothing (what trinkets?)
    – hazoriz
    May 20, 2016 at 18:04

Rabbi Mendel Kaplan zt'l is quoted as saying:

"To a woman, says the Rambam, her life has as much value as she feels she's worth to her husband. When her husband honors her, he shows that she is valuable to him. A wife is not a chavrusa, G-d forbid. It can cause a lot of trouble if you think in those terms - that sometimes you're right and sometimes she's right. No! Whatever a wife does is good and nice, and if you scold her and take that feeling of importance away from her, you've robbed her of her life." - Reb Mendel pg.173 (artscroll)

Hence it means primarily to make her feel loved and appreciated.

On the other hand, the Talmud says: "yetzer, child, and woman, let one's left hand push away while the right hand draws near" Sotah 47a

and in Talmud Bava Metzia 75b: "3 people scream (in prayer) and are not answered..." and one of them is he whose wife rules over him.

One has to learn how to balance respecting and honoring one's wife with being the head of the house and fulfilling his other duties so that he won't wind up like in Pirkei Avot: "one who talks excessively with women causes evil to himself, wastes time from Torah study, and will eventually..."

check out the book "Garden of Peace" by Rabbi Shalom Arush. has helped alot of people

  • +1 thank you, (you did not really say anything practical, exept to read a book and not to scold her)
    – hazoriz
    May 16, 2016 at 20:36
  • @hazoriz and make her feel loved and appreciated. this is the main thing
    – ray
    May 16, 2016 at 20:37
  • Love the rambam brings as a separate requirement, are you saying respect = appreciate if yes how do you do it practically. Please double check regarding a pushing the yeitser with only the left hand (I thought that was only regarding people)
    – hazoriz
    May 16, 2016 at 20:42
  • @hazoriz intent of respect is to feel appreciated and loved. included in appreciate is to make her feel valued. regarding yetzer, yes 100%. it's brought in the pas lechem in shaar bitachon see there dafyomireview.com/380 search for "Sotah 47a"
    – ray
    May 16, 2016 at 20:45
  • How is it done practically (what is the obligation) (and how to understand (respect her) more then yourself). sorry you are right rashi there יצר. של תשמיש תקרבנו בימין שלא יקוץ בפריה ורביה .
    – hazoriz
    May 16, 2016 at 21:08

Respecting your wife means your wife is the centrality of your existence and any other situation you are associated with is measured relative to the relationship with your wife.

She is eshes berisechah, the wife of your covenant. Covenentially your thought processes should be in confluence with your marriage.

This may put you at odds with a lot of other people, but that is the nature of real living.

  • 3
    +1 sources please (these ideas do not seem Jewish) (to me it seems that G-d is the centrality of your existence. a wife is just someone you have a lot of responsibilities for (one of them being respecting her more then you respect yourself) (these responsibilities are even if at odds with a lot of other people, but not that any situation you are in is measured... Wife) (in other words when you buy a slave it is like buying a master for yourself, but still you are not the slave)
    – hazoriz
    May 17, 2016 at 1:20
  • 2
    What is eshes berisechah?
    – hazoriz
    May 17, 2016 at 1:20
  • @hazoriz you asked "What is eshes berisechah?". In the answer of pcoz, s/he wrote, "eshes berisechah, the wife of your covenant". therefore, "eshes berisechah" (is his pronounciation of) אֵשֶׁת בְּרִיתֶךָ (in מַלְאָכִי 2:15).
    – ninamag
    Aug 20, 2017 at 20:46
  • @ninamag Thank you even a halacha is learned from it sefaria.org/Sanhedrin.22a.16 and sefaria.org/Shulchan_Arukh,_Even_HaEzer.119.3
    – hazoriz
    Aug 20, 2017 at 21:00
  • @hazoriz לוֹ לְמַהֵר לְשַׁלֵּחַ אִשְׁתּוֹ רִאשׁוֹנָה; אֲבָל שְׁנִיָּה, אִם שְׂנָאָהּ, יְשַׁלְּחֶנָּה: does this imply the man has two wives at the same time? sefaria.org/…
    – ninamag
    Aug 20, 2017 at 21:07

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