Parshas Ki Setzei
“He should be free for his house for one year and make his wife who he took happy!” (Devarim 24:5)
It is a positive commandment that the groom should rejoice with his wife during the first year after his wedding. This means that he should not travel outside the city to go to battle or for any other reason which would mean that he would stay for many days without his wife. Instead, he should stay with her for one entire year from the day of the marriage. About this it says “He should be free for his house for one year and make his wife who he took happy!”.
Amongst the roots of this commandment are that Hashem had the thought of creating the world and His wish was that it would be inhabited by good creations born of a man and woman wedded according to the law. Because of this He decreed upon us-the nation who He chose to be called by His name-that we should live with the woman who is singled out for us for an entire year after the marriage so that we would accustom or nature to hers and that the children would be good ones and that the world will find favour in the eyes of its Creator.
Amongst the laws of this commandment are that for this entire year he should not go out to war nor may he provide water or food for his brothers who are fighting in the war, nor may he pass over for any other reason, as it says “he may not go out to battle and he may not pass over it for any reason” which refers to the needs of the battle and the needs of the city.
This commandment applies at a time when there is a battle. It applies in all places and at all times in that it is always correct to make his wife happy and to stay with her for a year. One who leaves her within this year for many days even with her permission has transgressed this commandment. Nevertheless, one who wants to go out to perform a commandment or to rejoice with his friends on condition that he returns within a few days has not transgressed this commandment. Some also say that when she gives permission it helps to avoid the transgression.