Marriage is seen to be very important by many Jews in physical and spiritual ways. This is shown by the Hebrew word for marriage Kiddushin that means holiness. There are many over reasons that Jews get married. One of these reasons would be for kids as the first commandment in genesis is to go populate the world, as children are a gift from god. Also it is not good to be alone as shown by god with the companionship of Adam and Eve.
They also believe that if a person is married it will develop their personality within the relationship. It underpins society and promotes the continuity of Judaism. There sins are forgiven when one marries, according to Jewish teaching. Jewish people believe that marriage brings happiness and that an unmarried man lives a life without joy, without blessing and without god. It increases stability and security in a changing and troubled world.
In Jewish teaching they say that it is a natural state for all including rabbis.
The only people that should delay being married are those who study in the yeshiva, which is a collage for the study of the Torah. There is also the Jewish story of Ina shalom where a non Jewish person says that the Jews god is a thief because he stole a rib from Adam. The Jewish person replies by saying a person broke in his house and stole the silver coins but replaced them with gold ones, the non Jew laughs and said he was hardly a thieve, then the Jewish person continues on saying that good was the same by taking a rib from Adam and gave him a wife.
This shows that Jewish people believe that a partner is more important than anything else in the world. Jews believe there is someone out there for all of us all we have to do is find them as proven by Genesis 2.18, The Lord God said “IT is not good for man to be alone; I will make a fitting helper for him.”
As you can tell it’s really important for Jewish people to find the right partner. It is said that in marriage on a spiritual level ‘god and his angles bring together two souls who were intended for each other before birth.’ For a Jewish person to find a partner they could go see the shadchan who will find the best partner for a Jew, sometimes parents see the shadchan and arrange for there child to be married but the child can refuse the partner if he or she doesn’t feel like it is the best partner for them. There are many places where Jews can go to find a partner like on the internet and organisations designed for Jews to meet other Jews. Most Jews find the need to marry other Jews because if they don’t it could end up with the child Jewish or not. If the child’s mother is Jewish and the father isn’t then the child would be Jewish but if the father is Jewish and the mother isn’t then the child would not be Jewish.
This could lead to marriage difficulties and maybe even divorce. Some Jewish people are getting concerned about other Jews that are ‘marrying out’, this is where a Jewish man marries a non – Jewish woman or vice versa. This is a problem because they are less likely to keep Jewish practises, more likely to divorce and there children might feel less Jewish and they might marry out as well. Jews believe that when you get married you leave your mother and father to be with his wife “a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24)
A Jewish wedding is celebrated in different ways but there are some factors that stay the same. One of these factors is the groom gives the wife a ring that is a plane metal band with no holes, engravings or gems and the ring which most belong to the groom. Also the Ketubah which is a marriage contract which dates back to the second century and is written in Aramaic. This contract spells out the right of the married woman to be supported and cherished by her husband. There also has to be 2 eligible witnesses to observe the ceremony which takes place under the huppah. There is about nine steps of a Jewish wedding and they are the veiling (bedeken), the procession, Circling the groom, blessings, giving of ring by groom, reading of the ketubah, seven blessings, breaking a glass and the couple retire. Only the giving of ring by groom, reading of the ketubah and the seven blessings are required by Jewish law and rest have grown out of tradition. The seven blessings are normally given by family and friends.
In Jewish law divorce is allowed but should only be used as a last resort, the couple should try and fix the marriage before they get the divorce. This is because Jews believe that marriage is sacred and when it ends it is a said occasion “when on divorces his first wife, even the altar sheds tears” (Talmud, gittin 90b). For a divorce to be finalized the husband has to give his wife a get which is a document that verifies that they both can remarry. Only the husband can initiate a divorce because he has to give the get to his wife but needs wife’s consent. This originates from the bible “a man takes a wife and possesses her. She fails to please him because he finds something obnoxious about her, and he writes a bill of divorcement, hands it to her and sends her away from his house”(Deuteronomy 24.1). The divorce would take place in the Beth Din which is a rabbinic Court of Law; in the U.K. a couple also need a civil divorce under British Law.
A divorce could be a problem for a Jewish woman because sometimes the husband might not let them get a divorce; women can’t get the divorce themselves and therefore can’t remarry. This situation creates an agunot. To modernise Jewish divorce rabbis try to convince the husband to give hid wife a get but if he doesn’t they can give her a grant that allows her to remarry so avoiding the agunah problem.
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