Parshat Bereishit recounts the creation of the world, including plants, animals, humans and marriage. At first glance, it seems that G-d includes Adam’s marriage to Eve in order to highlight how man contrasts to animals. Apparently contradicting this theme, however, is that the biblical concept of marriage is described as an “acquisition” of a wife (Kedushin 2a), seemingly equating Adam’s control over Eve with his ownership of the animals he named.

Rabbi David Fohrman addresses this question by comparing the concept of “acquiring” a partner to the idea of acquiring Torah. Rabbi Fohrman explains that acquiring Torah doesn’t involve control or ownership, but rather that it completes us only when we actively treasure, appreciate it and work on it. The same applies to marriage:  Men and women complete each other when they appreciate each other and continually work on their relationship, differentiating us from animals, and establishing a union worth treasuring. By appreciating the Torah, our partners and everything else in life that we have, we differentiate and complete ourselves, a goal worthy of the very first Parsha in the Torah.