One can tramp the world over, from East to West, from North to South; the sights will change, climates will differ, but certain aspects of human behavior remain the same. Wherever we turn, we find that individuals relate to each other with the same basic types of interactions. They respect some people and resent others. Some people arouse their fear, and others, their love. Human society, regardless of tongue, climate, dress, or form of government, is never devoid of love between husband and wife.
Judaism devotes much of its attention to directing this universal human emotion to constructive channels. It is not left to become an incidental emotion, there one day and gone the next. Neither is it left to our emotional “weather” on any particular day. In the eyes of the Torah, Love is not a passing infatuation. In fact, the Torah views it as a basic precept; it commands us: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19). The practical implications of this precept are that each Jew must love all others and, as an expression of this love, do his best to meet his needs.
When applied in practice, this precept strengthens the unity of the Jewish People by fostering mutual gratitude and respect. Just as each organ in our body works for the benefit of all the others − the heart pumps blood to every other organ, and the digestive system furnishes nutrients for every part of the body, not only its own tissues − so, too, does each member of the Jewish People make his contribution to the success of the nation of Israel as a whole.
The bond of love which joins husband and wife is even deeper and more sublime than the lure of one's neighbor as oneself. In addition to the affection fostered by the Torah's commandment to love one's neighbor, the Creator fashioned man and woman with an inborn attraction to each other which welds two individuals into one new entity, namely, the family. This is the universal pattern of man, no matter where he finds himself: within him lies the power and the drive to love another human being, quite different from himself, who becomes his closest companion in life, and who reciprocates his love in kind.
The physical bond between husband and wife completes their union. Therefore the Creator fashioned man with a spiritual need to be loved, and included this feeling in the human being's complex of emotions. In this way, the souls of husband and wife are united as one. Were the bond between husband and wife to lie in the physical realm alone, there would be no opportunity for their souls, as well, to become one.
When a couple's relationship is based on selfless love, the Creator blesses their home with His presence and sanctifies the bond between them.