By Five Towns Marriage Initiative
Yaakov makes Yosef promise him in ParashasVayechi that Yaakov will be buried in Me’aras Hamachpeilah, which was bought from Efron. When the sale was made, the language used is kach, to take, and we see that the same language is used when a man takes a wife—yikach. The Gemara draws a parallel between these two times when the word kach is used and states that a woman can be “taken” with money because Me’aras Hamachpeilah was bought with money.
It’s odd for this law of marriage to be learned from Efron, a rasha who reneged on his original offer to give the land for free and instead charged a small fortune for it. We can learn this important lesson from him, however, because when Efron sold the cave, he felt like he’d made the deal of a lifetime. Similarly, Avraham also felt like he got an amazing deal because at least he was able to secure this holy place where Adam and Chavah were buried to be used as burial grounds for his family.
When a couple marries, the ideal is for them to feel that this marriage they are entering is the best deal of their lives. The trick is to keep that feeling going. One’s wedding day is only the start of a journey. It’s a fantastic sendoff, but when the party is over, the work begins. By working on their marriage and investing in it, years later they will still be able to say, with certainty, that their marriage was the best deal of their lives. v
Five Towns Marriage Initiative provides educational programs, workshops, and referrals to top marriage therapists. FTMI will help offset counseling costs when necessary and also runs an anonymous shalom bayis hotline for the entire community Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings, 10:00–11:00 p.m. For the hotline or for more information, call 516-430-5280 or e‑mail firstname.lastname@example.org.