|| My family was discussing the story of R’ Akiva and his wife, Rachel, over Shabbos. Rachel married R’ Akiva when he was an ignorant man and a humble shepherd. How could she have married someone like that? How could she have assumed that R’ Akiva would one day grow to become a great person? In addition, how did she put 12 years of her life on hold by sending R’ Akiva away to learn when he didn’t even know the aleph beis?
Additionally, the story makes Rachel’s father seem faulty for not wanting his daughter to marry Rachel. Why should he have wanted her to marry a simple, ignorant man? He wasn’t a talmid chacham at the time.
Granted, Rachel made the right choice, being that R’ Akiva became the prominent and legendary man that she aspired for him to become. However, the story implies that one can marry a person who is not on their level in hope that he will eventually grow to higher levels.
Furthermore, this story earned Rachel the notorious name that she has, inferring that she was correct to assume and hope that R’ Akiva would become a great person.
Is this true? If so, how can one differentiate between potential spouses?
I would really appreciate R’ Abadi’s opinion on this.