Polygamy and Divorce (Passed 8/17/08)
Although polygamy is not forbidden by the Torah, it does violate the principle of Yesod HaBriah (the principle/foundation of creation) because he who made man in the beginning, ‘made them male and female’ (Genesis 1:27) ‘Wherefore shall a man shall leave his father and his mother, and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’ (Genesis 2:24) And now then, they are no more two but one flesh only.
Divorce also violates the principle of Yesod HaBriah because the divorced man has more than one wife in his lifetime. What therefore Elohim has joined together man cannot separate.
Moshe then commanded to give a bill of divorcement, and to put a wife away if she was not pleasing in her husbands eyes" (Deuteronomy 24:1, 3) on account of the hardness of our hearts, allowed us to put away our wives, but from the beginning it was not so. every man that has put away, or shall put away his wife, except it be for DAVAR Z’NOT, and takes another, commits adultery. And whoever takes the divorced also commits adultery.
DAVAR Z’NOT is to be understood as "going astray" and may refer to the wife who will not be subject to her husband’s headship, as we read "For, behold, they that go far from You shall perish; You do destroy all them THAT GO ASTRAY from you. (Psalm 73:27)" and "For just as you do not let the water go and abound, thus do not let the wicked wife go and sin. And if she will not follow your direction, cut her off from your flesh, and divorce her from your house." (Sira 25:25-26). And as Paul writes:" Wives be subject to your husbands as to our Adon, Because the husband is the head of the wife, Even as the Messiah is head of the Assembly; and he is the life-giver of the body. But even as the Assembly is subject to the Messiah, So also wives [should be subject] to their husbands in everything." (Ephesians 5:22-27 see also Genesis 3:16; Ephesians 5:22-27; 1 Corinthians 11:3; 14:34-35; Colossians 3:18; Titus 2:2-5; 1 Kefa 3:1-7).
Divorce is always a last resort. Even when there is a matter of Z’NOT, though a man has the right to divorce, the preferred way is to forgive and work out the problems. Divorce should be reserved for situations from which repentance is not forthcoming or where the Z’NOT is not likely to stop.