Marriage Jewish Style


   Judaism believes in the concept of soul mates, called bashert.

• The primary purpose of marriage is love and companionship, not just childbearing

• A contract called a ketubah spells out terms of marriage and divorce

• Marriages between certain close relatives are prohibited

• Children born out of wedlock are not bastards in Jewish law

The Torah provides very little guidance with regard to the procedures of a marriage. The method of finding a spouse, the form of the wedding ceremony, and the nature of the marital relationship are all explained in the Talmud.

Bashert: Soul Mates

According to the Talmud, Rav Yehuda taught that 40 days before a male child is conceived, a voice from heaven announces whose daughter he is going to marry, literally a match made in heaven! In Yiddish, this perfect match is called “bashert,” a word meaning fate or destiny. The word “bashert” can be used to refer to any kind of fortuitous good match, such as finding the perfect job or the perfect house, but it is usually used to refer to one’s soul mate. There are a number of statements in the Talmud that would seem to contradict the idea of bashert, most notably the many bits of advice on choosing a wife. Nevertheless, the idea has a strong hold within the Jewish community: look at any listing of Jewish personal ads and you’re bound to find someone “Looking for my bashert.”
Finding your bashert doesn’t mean that your marriage will be trouble-free. Marriage, like everything worthwhile in life, requires dedication, effort and energy. Even when two people are meant for each other, it is possible for them to ruin their marriage. That is why Judaism allows divorce.

Although the first marriage is bashert, it is still possible to have a good and happy marriage with a second spouse. The Talmud teaches that God also arranges second marriages, and a man’s second wife is chosen according to his merits.

How do you know if you have found your bashert? Should you hold off on marrying someone for fear that the person you want to marry might not be your bashert, and there might be a better match out there waiting for you? The traditional view is that you cannot know who your bashert is, but once you get married, the person you married is by definition your bashert, so you should not let concerns about finding your bashert discourage you from marrying someone.

More at http://www.jewfaq.org/marriage.htm

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