Jewish Marriage

2 February 2017

Marriage is a significant part of Judaism bringing together a woman and man under God’s reign. It is the mitzvah (122) “To marry a wife by means of ketubah and keddushin” (Deut 22:13), all Jewish adherents see marriage as a necessity in order to obey God and to experience the fullness of life. In Genesis God says: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him. ” It is a link between individuals and the wider community as it recognises two individuals coming together, celebrated by the wider community.Also the marriage ceremony itself contains symbolic significance to Judaism, conveying Jewish beliefs through symbols, actions and words.

The mitzvah of marriage is especially important as it involves what Jews believe to be the purpose of human life: unity to procreate. This belief is modelled by the creation story in Genesis where Adam is made a partner (Eve) through one of his ribs “For this reason man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife” (Genesis). The idea of a “bashert” or ideal partner makes marriage especially important as it creates a bond between two souls, just like Adam and Eve, fulfilling God’s will.Once unity between woman and man is achieved, a married couple are able to carry out the next mitzvah (125): “To have children with one’s wife” to fulfil God’s wish to “be fruitful and multiply” (Gen 1:28). Due to this law Jewish people see marriage as the only way of being able to have children, so in marriage, a Jew is able to adhere to two mitzvoth. To be Jewish one has to be born of a Jewish marriage; therefore, Jewish marriages are significant ensuring Judaism remains through generations due to procreation and the adherence of individuals marrying.

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