Dear Rabbi and Susan,
After Adam and Eve eat and are questioned about the forbidden fruit, we read [in Genesis 3:16]:
Unto the woman He said: ‘I will greatly multiply thy pain and thy travail; in pain thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.’
What is the real meaning of “thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee”?
I’m looking for an explanation I can share with my wife and six daughters, especially given the current Western world trend of promoting the empowerment and independence of women.
Thanks for your all your great teaching and your work creating the AAJC.
Just as an aside, you may like to know that your father, Rabbi A. H. Lapin married my parents in Johannesburg in 1956.
Your closing sentence was heartwarming for us as my late dad was a distinguished rabbi for many years in Johannesburg. You reminded us of the time we were once chatting with a woman in a park. After hearing our name, she said, “Oh, your father married me.” At that point our six year-old daughter, Ruth, who was playing nearby, pulled herself up to her full 40 inches and said, “He did not. He married my grandmother.”
A direct answer to your specific question would entail sitting for many hours and studying those verses with your wife and daughters. However, there is a prerequisite to doing that learning. The Torah is a package deal. It doesn’t work well when verses are lifted out of context. That is why both sides of an issue whether it be slavery in America in the 1800s or immigration today can easily find “proofs” for their ideas by isolating a few words or phrases from Scripture.