The Meaning of Marriage

There is a growing tendency among young couples to regard the institution of marriage as little more than a piece of paper.

According to figures from the Office of National Statistics, the number of marriages taking place in England and Wales fell by 60,000 between 1991 and 2001.

But for Jewish couples getting married, the union should be seen as much more than a flimsy legal document. According to our sages, it is as hard for a man and woman to find a successful match in marriage as it was for God to bypass natural law and allow the sea to split.

Clearly an opportunity for rejoicing then. Furthermore, when a Jewish man chooses to marry, he takes the first step to fulfilling his religious requirement to bring up a family (although not many men nowadays take the Mishne’s advice to get hitched at 18 to heart).

Finally, the marriage of a Jewish man and woman is also the ultimate realisation of the heavenly decree made on the conception of every child, stating precisely who his or her life partner will be. Thus, the family unit can be seen as the foundation stone upon which all of Jewish life is built.

The Jewish wedding ceremony, although intrinsically a simple affair, is surrounded by many layers of custom and ritual, all of which contribute to turn it into a profoundly meaningful and special occasion.

If you're organising a simcha then have a look at Totally Jewish Simchas for everything you might need.

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