Celebration & Renewal: Rites of Passage in Judaism

By Rela M. Geffen | Go to book overview
Save to active project

that they will resume sexual intercourse. By and large, however, the custom is observed only in the Orthodox community.


Back to the Covenant

Over the course of fifteen hundred years, the Jewish tradition has developed an ornate and sophisticated set of rituals and liturgies for marriage. It is the purpose of these customs not only to perform the simple task of ushering a couple into the state of matrimony but also, and perhaps even more importantly, to do so while stating for the couple and the entire Jewish community the crucial nexus that exists between marriage and other basic tenets of Jewish faith.

The sages hoped that these ceremonies would convey to the couple the need to maintain the conventional element of their relationship in the years beyond their wedding, and would encourage men to make much use of affectionate language and other means of establishing intimacy in the relationship.102 They claimed that "one who loves his wife more than himself, about him did Scripture state, 'You will know that all is well in your tent'" ( Job 5:24).103 In general, the sages' admonitions about relationships between spouses center on the theme of derekh eretz, or common decency and appropriateness.

Given the tradition's view of the cosmic and Godly nature of marriage, it is perhaps fitting that the rabbis chose as the verse to be recited when one dons phylacteries, another symbol of the Jew's relationship with God, these poignant words of the prophet Hosea:

And I will espouse you forever:
I will espouse you with righteousness and justice,
And with goodness and mercy,
And I will espouse you with faithfulness,
Then you shall be devoted to the Lord. ( Hosea 2:21-22)


NOTES
1.
Unless otherwise noted, all biblical quotations in this chapter are taken from The Tanakh--The Holy Scriptures: The New JPS Translation Accordingto the Traditional Hebrew Text

-122-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Celebration & Renewal: Rites of Passage in Judaism
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 278

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?