In Bereshis (2:18), we find that G-d decided that Adam needed a wife: "and
the L-rd G-d said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make
him a help to match him (ezer k'negdo)."
The expression "a help to match him" is a bit odd. How is it that a person
who helps is a person who is a match, who is opposed to the other as well.
The commentator Rashi explains that "if he is worthy, his wife is an ezer, a
helper, and if he is not worthy she is k'negdo, opposed to him."
The Lekach Tov is puzzeled by this explanation. It appears that Rashi is
talking about one individual, who may or not be worthy. Shouldn't Rashi more
properly term the example as two different scenarios: two husbands married to
two wives, one who is an ezer, a helper and one who is k'negdo, against him?
The answer is that one wife can be both eizer and k'negdo at the same time.
If she is there to help her husband grow spiritually and fight his Yetzer
Hora, evil inclination, she both a helper and a match to him. She is an
eizer, a helper, because she is helping him gain reward in the World To Come,
and k'negdo, because she chalenges him when he is tempted by his evil
inclination, and opposes his desires to succumb to his passions. A person
with a wife like this is the one who Rashi describes as worthy. The one who
Rashi describes as not worthy has a wife who lets her husband do all that he
wants. She is not interested in his spiriual growth. She does not desire to
challenge him to strive for spiritual greatness. While she might outwardly
appear to be a "helper" to her husband, she is truthfully against him, for
she allows and permits his spiritual decline. She can be a helper, one who
allows her husband to fulfill his earthly desires, who is against him, for
she allows for his self destruction.