You said that a man is expected to keep far away from women even if it’s for a good purpose like kiruv rechokim. So why is getting married such a good deed?
The answer is when he gets married, his wife is אשתו כגופו. His wife is part of himself. They’re one person. That’s a different story.
You have to keep in mind that whatever he wants for himself, he wants for his wife too. He wants perfection, he wants happiness, he wants Olam Hazeh, Olam Habah; all for his wife too. Even when he learns Torah, she is his partner and she gets full reward equal to his in his learning. That’s what the Gemara says.
But he has to be on guard always against other women. Suppose a woman comes along and says, “You know, you’re a talmid chacham. I want you to learn Mesilas Yesharim with me. Learn Chovos Halevovos with me.” Pick up your feet and run away as fast as you can! הוי בורח like you’re בורח מן האש.
People don’t realize how important it is להתרחק מן הנשים. Forty years ago, forty five years ago, I was in the country with some Satmerer Jews and it was Tisha B’Av. We were going to say kinnus. So I said to them, “Maybe the women are too far away; they can’t hear the kinnus.”
So one Satmerer, a smart man, said to me, “Vos veiter altz besser – The further away, the better off we are.”
The better off they are too. They are better off too.
I can tell you stories about frum men who tried to do mitzvos with women and it ended up in a disaster.
You know the story of that judge, one of the highest Jewish judges in the state. Of course he was a rasha, a Reform Jew. But he fell down because of a woman. He went to jail – now he’s out of jail but he lost everything. Women ruin a man. You have no sense when you deal with a woman. You become like a d-o-g.
And therefore for men and women the very best advice is להתרחק מן הנשים. Women should not work in offices where there are men. If you can avoid it, you shouldn’t do it.
When I was in Slabodka, women didn’t work in the offices of the yeshiva. Not one woman was there. Only men. Only men! When I came to America, I saw in the yeshivas that women are in the offices. I was surprised.
Now you’ll say it’s not fair. So women won’t have any employment? That’s a problem, but this isn’t the way of solving the problem. להתרחק מן הנשים – Keep far away from women at all times.
TAPE # E-11 (May 1995)