Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A Conservative View of Jewish Dating

Conservative and Orthodox Judaism take marriage very seriously, although in different ways than Reform or Reconstructionist Judaism.  They strive to follow the Law, based on instruction given to the Jewish singles by Hashem (The Name).  Marriage is a contractual bond, procreation is a commandment and every step of the courtship and marriage is something very important to the husband and wife.

The engagement or shidukhin, is a contract of mutual promise to marry at a future date and it is formalized with a Document of Conditions, followed by the tradition of the mothers of both bride and groom breaking a plate.  The Talmud says that a man should love his wife as himself and honor her more than he honors himself. 
It has never been true that “tough love” should be shown to a wife, for husbands were even instructed to discuss worldly matters with his wife and to not become overbearing.  One passage even says that G*d counts a wife’s tears, in essence, keeping an account of how a husband treats his family.  Husbands are expected to provide a home for their wife and to protect her, even if she becomes sick.  Even in matters of sex, conjugal relationships are the right of the woman and the duty of a man.  All of this is the basis for a happy and prosperous marriage.

Marriage Outside the Faith

In conservative Judaism, intermarrying with unbelievers is not sanctioned.  However, the community does hope that by supporting the non-Jewish spouse in kindness, the non-Jewish mate will eventually be converted.  In Orthodox Judaism, intermarrying is not accepted and the marriage is not perceived as legitimate.

If you are conservative or Orthodox, there is a need to take the marriage obligation seriously, particularly in marrying someone who is also Jewish, and in line with your way of thinking.  To marry someone approved by your community is not only the law but will help your marriage get off on the right food.  Being married to someone who doesn't believe the same things you do, or doesn't appreciate the lifestyle or traditions, is only going to amplify the stress of your household.

This is why many have gone to the Internet to find a suitable mate in recent years.  They can search a wider radius of space—indeed, across state lines or even in multiple countries—rather than settling for someone who’s less than ideal.  They can find more suitable partners that match their interests, values and opinions, not to mention someone they find attractive. 

Remember that in the Torah, every patriarch made it a point to marry a woman of good name, a woman united in worship, and someone of good character.  It was not a suggestion but an obligation of the law.  They took it seriously.  Though many today tend to think of dating as casual and marriage as a 50/50 sort of thing, Judaism has always taken it seriously and continues to advice young men and women to show respect to marriage and the promises they make.  Fortunately, in this age of technology it's easier now to find a good match on Jewish dating sites and do the right thing. 

No comments:

Post a Comment