Following the previous question: "obligation-to-see-a-woman-prior-to-kiddushin" the Gemmorah (Kiddushin 41a) states that:

"אבל בהא איסורא לית בה
כדר"ל דאמר ר"ל טב למיתב טן דו מלמיתב ארמלו

But in this case of a woman who appoints an agent, there is no prohibition. As Reish Lakish said: Women have a saying: It is better to sit as two bodies, i.e., be married, than to sit lonely like a widow."

Davidson's interpretation:

Once a woman has decided to marry, she will accept any husband whose betrothal her agent accepts on her behalf, and there is no concern that she will find her betrothed repulsive and violate the mitzva of loving one’s neighbor like oneself.

Does it mean we always hold that women love their husbands and never override "ואהבת לרעך כמוך"?

  • 2
    Factually it's indeed clearly not the case that women always love their husbands. I think you knew that already.
    – Double AA
    Dec 13, 2018 at 13:09
  • 2
    @DoubleAA I didn't ask about the reality :(, I meant the Svoreh we count upon.
    – Al Berko
    Dec 13, 2018 at 14:11
  • R Soloveitchik in a 1975 speech (transcript available here) said regarding this principle: “the chazakos of which chazal spoke rest not upon transient psychological behavioral patterns, but upon permanent ontological principles rooted in the very depth of the human personality, in the metaphysical human personality, which is as changeless as the heavens above. Let us take for example ... the chazaka tav l'meisiv tan du mil'meisiv armalo ... this will never change, mayid shamayim vaaretz.”
    – Joel K
    Dec 13, 2018 at 18:29
  • Let me know if this is along the lines of an answer that you’re looking for and I’ll bli neder write it up
    – Joel K
    Dec 13, 2018 at 18:33
  • @joelk that's polemic judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/97594/… he agrees that not every person's nature follows the chazakot
    – Double AA
    Dec 13, 2018 at 19:25

1 Answer 1


The mitzvah of אהבת לרעך, as clearly evidenced by the Gemara is not a positive one, necessarily. But rather it is a negative one - meaning the question is whether or not the woman (or man) is repulsed by their spouse.

Regarding woman, the svara of טב למיתב tells us that ultimately a woman will accept her spouse despite any shortcomings.

But no where does טב למיתב tell us that she will always LOVE her husband in the חיובי - positive sense.

  • I understand what you mean but you phrased it wrong. ואהבת is a positive and not a negative Mitzvah as per Rambam, no questions, but what is called a transgression of it - is a dispute: does one need to hate his fellow to override it or not loving is enough. If I got you right, you're saying "we hold women don't hate their husbands, unlike men" and that's enough for not transgressing ואהבת.
    – Al Berko
    Dec 13, 2018 at 14:18

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