“שמח תשמח רעים האהובים כשמחך יצירך בגן עדן מקדם”
This statement, part of the Sheva Brachos (Seven Blessings), is recited under the Chuppah ( wedding canopy) of traditional Jewish marriages. Translated into English, we pray: “Gladden the loving couple, like you gladdened your creations (Adam and Eve) in the Garden of Eden years ago.” This raises the question: what was so special about the relationship of Adam and Eve that justifies it being presented as the paragon that all young couples should strive to achieve? Moreover, Adam and Eve’s stint in the Garden of Eden was not a rosy subliminal harmonious fantasy, rather a highly contentious period. If so, what is the lesson to be garnered from their relationship that is of such tantamount importance that we highlight it at the onset of every Jewish marriage?