The only Sanctuary never
Marriage is love, pleasure and project (thus progeny)
My favorite rabbi always reminds me that the Hebrew word for marriage is qiddushin, or sanctification. The covenant people can only regulate the wedding with an ironclad covenant: the ketubah. This is a contract in which the husband agrees to guarantee the future of his wife, including a dowry in case of death or divorce. This document is so important that the Torah itself is symbolically the ketubah of marriage between God and the people of Israel. The role of the wife is central. The family liturgy, dietary precepts and observance of rules, are less relevant to Jews than the synagogal liturgy, is largely entrusted to her. While the husband is obligated to Bible study and the observance of all 613 mizvot, or precepts, the wife is exempt from the positive mizvot of “doing” that depend on the weather. Between cycles and pregnancies, time is already marked and time contains it. Circumcision, a tangible sign of Abraham’s pact with the Eternal, concerns males; females do not need that sign because they are bearers of identity, you are Jewish if you are the son of a Jewish mother.
My favourite rabbi always reminds me that the Hebrew word for marriage is qiddushin, which means sanctification. The people of the covenant have no choice but to regulate the marriage with an ironclad pact called the ketubah. In this contract the husband undertakes to guarantee his wife's future, including a dowry in case of death or divorce. This document is so important that the Torah itself is symbolically the ketubah of the marriage between God and the people of Israel. The role of the wife is central. The family liturgy, dietary precepts and observance of rules, for Jews no less important than the synagogical liturgy, is largely entrusted to her. While the husband is obliged to study the Bible and observe all 613 mizvot, or precepts, while the wife is exempt from the positive mizvot of “doing” which depend on the weather. Between monthly cycles and pregnancies, she is already marked by time and time contains her. Circumcision, which is the tangible sign of Abraham's pact with the Eternal, concerns males. Females do not need this sign because they are the bearers of identity i.e. you are Jewish if you are the son of a Jewish mother.
By just reading the Song of Songs we learn that it is sufficient to understand that for Jews marriage is both a covenant, and also a pleasure. Judaism is not sexophobic, and perhaps only in this religion there is an explicit obligation that promotes the couple’s intimacy, the onah, according to which it is a precept for the husband to satisfy her sexually every time she signals her desire, even when she is pregnant, infertile and after menopause. In addition,Moreover, while the wife’s infertility may be grounds for divorce, so is the husband’s inability to satisfy her. The Talmud says that “God counts the tears of women”, so best you had better make her happy!
So for the Jewish religion, marriage is about love, pleasure, and design. Thus, progeny. The noun “son” in fact is ben from the root of the verb banà which means to build.
After the destruction of the Temple, and during the centuries of the Diaspora, when they were without a homeland, without a priestly hierarchy, and at the mercy of discrimination and massacres, the Jewish people preserved their identity thanks to the Book, the Bible. In addition, it was thanks to the family, which is the center of the transmission of precepts and values.
When without the Temple, the family takes its place and the father and mother become the priests of a daily liturgy that, Shabbath after Shabbath, holiday after holiday, transforms the knot of affection into identity, knowledge and a guarantee of survival.
The family is the only shrine never to have been destroyed.
by Cinzia Leone