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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.

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Anonymous usa October 29, 2017

This article though Kabbalistickly sound, misses the pint - in the end of the day G-d instructs man - in fact, the first instruction, to marry and procreate - The bottom line is this - men are basically more comfortable not being attached - - women are more comfortable attaching (as I read, that the first man was single, yet a woman was born into a relationship, but be that as it may) hence, unless a man considers that a. there is a G-d, b. that G-d's instructions are either in his best interest or they are immutable, hence c. he has a duty, obligation and mandate to marry and have children (well, we end up with our modern disaster.) Reply

Louise November 6, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

I don't think this is quite right. I believe that men are more comfortable when attached, but only reach that stage years after their female counterparts. This happens because women mature at a much faster rate. (read: the first man could mature at his leasure, but the first woman had to catch up quickly).
And which modern disaster do you refer to? One of the most serious is overpopulation you know. Reply

Anonymous November 7, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

You are overlooking the fact that for a number of men marriage is not an option due to their own individual circumstances precluding them from doing so. For such men it is not healthy for them to dwell on let alone be shamed for their own inability to merit fulfilling this Mitzvah.

While women may be more comfortable attaching as you say, they are also comfortable quickly moving on from their marriage or relationship regardless of the circumstances. Whereas men attach more deeply and take much longer to move from their ex.


You also overlook the fact that men no longer have any rights or authority in a marriage nowadays and one cannot blame them from going their own way, you cannot appeal to traditionalism let alone to G-d for men to get married on the one hand while not placing any responsibility on women since that is the root of the modern disaster. Reply

Louise November 9, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

"Rights" and "authority" are two very different things and must not be lumped together. If you want authority over someone else, you are looking for a servant, not a wife.

I would never blame anyone for deciding marriage is not for them, in fact if it was because they wished to have someone to order around I would actively encourage them not to seek marriage. Reply

Anonymous London June 30, 2017

This subject just makes me sad, and question my self worth to the point of extreme depression.

It is pointless to marry nowadays, as the old ways have floundered. Feminine empowerment, rights and mindset are just plain different to what I was raised to believe.

It is also the overwhelming desire to share a love/life with someone special. Hence the want to marry.

The question, like life, is an awful no win situation with self doubt and alienation at its heart.

I sometimes wish my parents had not bothered. Reply

Anonymous M July 4, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

More or less agree that the juice is not worth the squeeze so to speak, what with the many pitfalls and society basically lying to men, blaming / demonizing men and wasting precious years of men's lives by emphasizing the positives of marriage / relationships instead of warning of the likely risks should they fall apart.

The best revenge is to live well and pursue your own hobbies / interests and seek self-validation rather than from external means, if necessary the need for men to vulnerable (known as male vulnerability need / male mother need) can be fulfilled in other ways aside from seeking out a wife.

Besides if the experience of other men in marriages / relationships are to be believed, it is better to be alone then lonely with those who are incapable of the unconditional self-sacrificing love that society sold to men let alone love as men understand the term. Reply

Louise Eire July 5, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

What has female rights got to do with you marrying or not marrying? A marriage is a partnership, that hasn't changed. Marriage itself has not changed. All that's changed is it's no longer culturally acceptable for the man to be in charge and order his wife around. If that is what you want know that it is not marriage you are looking for, it's a servant. Reply

Rochel Chein for chabad.org July 7, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

Dear anonymous, I'm so sorry that you're feeling down.

Times indeed change, but our souls still yearn for love and connection. With mutual respect, commitment, and hard work, a strong and lasting marriage is certainly possible. May you soon meet your destined soulmate and build a beautiful Jewish home together. Reply

Anonymous NYC July 8, 2017
in response to Rochel Chein for chabad.org:

I wish you can help me meet someone. My mother died and I can't stand being alone. Reply

Louise November 5, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

I'm very sorry for your loss. These things tend to make us question our lives and force us to go through huge changes. My advice is to give yourself time to grieve. Surround yourself with your friends and family. Marriage is a very serious commitment, and you'll need to be emotionally stable to build a lasting one. Reply

norman hauptman yonkers February 15, 2017

Why marry is a Torah directive in Genesis. "A man shall leave his parents....." Reply

Malka Libe Brockton Ma 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. Reply

Lou Ireland 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. Reply

Anonymous 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. Reply

Rachel Anatasya Indonesia December 15, 2016

Soul Mate whether maybe my soul mate is in contrast to my continent? Reply

JDV 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. Reply

Anonymous Ny 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 . Reply

Anonymous 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. Reply

Anonymous San Diego 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. Reply

Anonymous 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!! Reply

ransom place Greenwich CT December 5, 2015

By now, Gary probably has another woman in his life. If not, I know he will soon. From my reading of Jewish literature, I understand God to also be a matchmaker. If the first marraige doesn't work out, it's because the right mate has appeared or will appear soon. Good luck, Gary. Reply

D Daly Salem, ma August 22, 2015

How true it is that G-d has placed a soul mate for each and everyone of us. G'd led me to my wife while I was recuperating from a leg injury. We met on line, but never met each other until about a year later. When we met, it was as if we each found the missing part of our lives. I got married later in life I was 55, she was 40, but it made no difference in the world. We both truly believe that G-d brought us together. Reply

Gary Ny June 24, 2015

I entered marriage for life, my ex-spouse thought otherwise- I am divorced a little over a year. In my case my relationship to my kids has changed drastically. Their mom doesn't see the importance of respecting me. The divorce has been 10 times worse than the marriage. My kids seem to adjust-without me, but for me the loss at times is unbearable.

I don't think people go into marriage for life and the end affects not only the kids. I don't believe hashem likes divorce.

Reply

Gary Airmont ny November 5, 2017
in response to Gary:

I am out of marriage over 4 years. I've worked hard with my purpose, to do great art. I used the bad experiences to build a great talent and passion for art. I'm getting recognized. Many years, no women I'm passionate for my art.? I found my life by losing it. God had better plans. I would marry again but I don't bother. I'm happy.
Gary Reply

Ransom Place Greenwich CT November 6, 2017
in response to Gary:

Gary, I might be wrong but I think Hashem has made provisions in the Torah for marriages that don't work out. Perhaps it's meant to be: gamzu latovah, this too is for the best.

I also went through an unbearable loss with my children as you did. But if they're not in the trenches with you, children from your next relationship will be. And you'll love them just as much. Reply

Anonymous uknown June 21, 2015

I think that no matter what at the end of the day each and every soul has that one person they want to see, wake up to , and talk too. you can sleep with thousands of people but no matter what we always end up with one peron , bc of this people get married and that is what a soulmate is Reply

lucianna tx, usa March 5, 2015

marriage is it a sin if someone never wants to get married or dosen't get married and have children?

what does the Torah say about that?

I also heard from a rabbi that women and men do not do well together (at all), but wife and husband were meant for each other.

i believe that relationship with G-d is the most important in all relationships. The closer the couple is to G-d, the better their relationship will be.

:) Reply

Anonymous toronto January 17, 2015

marriage People marry for many reasons , for children and because they enjoy company of the person whom they chose. I married to help my father , to protect my family. And many times daughters are called on to take on responsibility of the family because a father is in need of help and more than just giving money it was help in many areas that he needed. So that a family which included my grandparents also were provided for. They refused help from other sons. Reply

neshama November 30, 2014

when we are ready. somehow we meet our soul mate. Ashem make it soon Amen.wish you to find yours too Queen. Montreal. Reply

De September 20, 2014

If we wait for the most High to match us, we are always assured of a perfect match. We do not have to agree but agreement is not the basis for the perfect match Reply

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