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Is there a rational reason which justifies a lifelong matrimonial commitment? Perhaps not. But the soul doesn’t always play according to the laws of logic.

Why Marry?

Why Marry?

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The Call from Within

Why marry? The question is so maddening because there seems to be very little rational reason to support such a drastic move. Whichever way the issue is presented, the obvious cons considerably outweigh any pros which may be suggested. What logic lurks behind a commitment which lasts an eternity? Would anyone in their right mind sign a job contract which contains a binding lifetime obligation, when so many jobs are available which do not require such an extreme commitment? So, why enter a binding marriage proposition? While the marriage contract does contain an escape clause, invoking this clause invariably causes unspeakable pain and emotional havoc. Why not enjoy relationships for their natural duration, and then move on when the eroded passion ceases to justify the maintenance of the relationship? Why would any sane person willingly consent to stick with a relationship even after it deteriorates to the point that it is rocky and challenging at best?

Would anyone in their right mind sign a job contract which contains a binding lifetime obligation?

Admittedly, the improved economic standing of women and the elimination of much of the stigma attached to remaining single have caused the marriage rate to decline in recent decades. Nevertheless, despite the decrease in societal and peer pressure to marry, the latest statistics show that more than three-quarters of the adult population is married!

So why do we marry? According to Kabbalah, the compulsion to rush into a lifelong commitment is an expression of the human soul’s deepest ambitions. The subliminal signals emanating from the soul have caused the logic-defying institution of marriage to be an integral part of the human fabric since the dawn of time. The soul’s desire to connect and commit makes the aspiration for marriage one of our most basic instincts.

What is the soul’s agenda? What does it stand to gain from hooking up with another soul? The mystics explain that two primary considerations drive the soul’s desire to marry: a desire to be complete, and its need to transcend itself.

1 + 1 = 1

In the first marriage ever, Adam and Eve were initially created as a single, two-faced body. The single being was split in two—a man and a woman—and then reunited in matrimony. In the world of souls, the partition and reunification of the male and female components of individual souls occurs continually. Every body is occupied by half a soul, and both body and soul reach a state of completion only when they are reunited with their bashert, their long-lost other half.

The attraction to the opposite sex actually stems from the soul’s innate desire to reunite with its soulmate

The Talmud says that each soul’s bashert (predestined soulmate) is determined before its birth. The two may be born continents apart, with seemingly nothing in common, but divine destiny ensures that everyone’s path intersects with that of their bashert.

[In rare instances, due to external spiritual factors which may intervene, it is possible for people to marry spouses who are not their basherts. Even in such instances, however, eventually the two original soulmates will marry—whether later on in life as a second marriage, or in a future incarnation of the two souls. See Marriage: Destiny or Chance.]

Thus, the attraction to the opposite sex, so often reviled as a weakness associated with base carnal urges, actually stems from the soul’s innate desire to reunite with its soulmate.

Extreme care must be taken not to misuse the sacred and potent power of sexual attraction by expending it in a context other than marriage. See Dating the Jewish Way for more on this subject.

The Commitment Itself Is the Objective

Whereas bodily needs and tendencies are decidedly egocentric, the soul is totally selfless. Commitment without the expectation of a commensurate return benefit may sound absurd when talking the language of the body, but is music to the ears of the soul. The soul’s most fervent wish is to transcend itself. Marriage offers the soul the opportunity to express its altruistic nature.

Marriage is about two souls who put their individual needs aside, and commit themselves 100% to the success of the relationship.

The Ultimate Goal

Aside for the bride and groom’s commitment to each other, Jewish marriage involves an additional two commitments. First, it is a commitment to the continuity of the Jewish nation. Jewish parents raising Jewish children with Jewish values is our nonviolent way of combating the Crusaders, Chmielnicki, Hitler, and all the other bigots who aspired to relegate the Jewish people to the annals of history.

Marriage is also a commitment to actualizing the divine plan which spawned all of creation

Secondly, marriage is also a commitment to actualizing the divine plan which spawned all of creation. G‑d desired a home, and it is our mission to sanctify the world, making it a hospitable abode for its Creator. The ammunition we were provided to accomplish this task are the Torah and its commandments, and the home is the first frontier. Man and woman are the perfect team to implement this plan. When working in harmony, they have the ability to make the home an epicenter of holiness whose rippling waves affect the neighborhood, the country, the world and the cosmos.

Because of the considerable role marriage plays in the actualization of the master plan for creation, G‑d expends considerable time and energy (as it were) on “playing matchmaker.”

“With what is He occupied since [the six days of Creation]?” the Midrash asks. “He is preoccupied with matching together couples,” is the answer! Every individual wedding is a vital piece in the grand puzzle which, when completed, will usher all of creation into its intended state of redemption.

Jewish marriage is about two people who commit themselves 100% to the success of G‑d’s relationship with creation.

A few essays that expound upon the importance of marriage and its centrality to Jewish life.
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Discussion (44)
February 15, 2017
Why marry is a Torah directive in Genesis. "A man shall leave his parents....."
norman hauptman
yonkers
January 23, 2017
Why marry
If one asks this question then perhaps marriage is not meant for them . In some cases one is in college and at this point marriage is something they would like to wait until they finish college and get a job. Which is an excellent reason to hold of .Their are people that found there love and he or she did not wish to wait for period time in some cases it hurt .Therefore they waited until they found someone in many instances it took a great deal of time . I wonder how many people refrained from getting married because they fear marriage and all that responsibilities that comes along with marriage.
Malka Libe
Brockton Ma
January 22, 2017
I think that we do not have just one soulmate, our predestined other half. I believe if you are open to love and connection you can learn and grow with many partners. The person you marry is the person you want to grow with permanently, the person who walks the same path as you. Before you decide who this is you must know yourself and be happy with yourself while knowing there is still a long way for your soul to travel. Other people, connection to other people will help you there before you decide, know that you are ready, that you are truly you, that you have found the one to walk with.
Lou
Ireland
January 17, 2017
Opinions are thought of this subject and rightfully so it is deserved by all to have one, No matter if it's for a religious reason or not there are benefits to this soul binding either way and that means also that to find your happiness with another don't mean you have to commit to all of its properties one being abuse constantly either physical or mental that would be the deal breaker the enough is enough the vow threw better and for worse breaker worse would to me mean dealing threw financial or disability of some sort than yes that's something to work together with when worse comes to worse in my opinion all else worse wise it would mean to try and when all fails it's time to move on to heal meaning separate and start all over again. May be scary may be hard but the alternative is better than the sacrifice you are already going threw know that this move I speak of is after trying to deal and work at fixing the change you hope for you can't jus decided after a day or a week.
Anonymous
December 15, 2016
Soul Mate
whether maybe my soul mate is in contrast to my continent?
Rachel Anatasya
Indonesia
December 12, 2016
Marriage
I thought I married for love but it was really for children. I am not with my soul mate.I have Jewish children, expect to have Jewish grandchildren, but where is life for me? Very few people meet their soul mates, as far as I am concerned.
JDV
December 9, 2016
Why
Why marry is an excellent question in those cases it is abstruse . When your marrying just to get wed for the sake of it . Marriage to me is special bonding between two people . Have seen many people wed who should have not taken that step for I do not want to work I'll just find any idiot to support me. Oh yes we are in love we will get married . Come on grow up before you decide to say I do and avoid a lot of hard ship in a lot of cases children are the ones that pay the higher price .
Anonymous
Ny
October 22, 2016
This is a truly touching revelation for me. It made me believe that marriage is truly the answer from G-d. He wants all men to be happy.
Anonymous
February 5, 2016
What can I do if he doesn't want to get married?
I am in a loving relationship, but my boyfriend doesn't believe in G-d and he says the most important thing is to love each other. He was married and got divorced two years ago. He says is not important to get married, but I would like to get married, and that's disappointing. I always wanted to keep the exchanging vows tradition. He doesn't care about that. I don't know if this is a strong reason to break up.
Anonymous
San Diego
December 6, 2015
Soul marriage
My husband and I divorced, he remarried, we had two children together, later I had another child. Conceived before he passed but he never knew I was pregnant. Although we were divorced. Now that he passed away from cancer, I see he was always right n i was just too immature to know. He loved me soulfully. I have never remarried, and the more my soul learns the more I think I can't because one day our souls will meet again. He only married because he was hurting. She quickly married after his death. Him and I always agreed though we were both hard headed, if the world were in turmoil and coming to an end we would want to stand together. Then I didn't even know exactly what that meant except I knew in my soul. He is not here physically but my souls devotion grows stronger. I miss him! Our young adults need to be taught more about the soul and hold their vows very serious!! There is no death, you are vowing to become one soul together!!
Anonymous
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