August 19, 2010 5:06 pm at 5:06 pm #592185
Who says the objective of marriage for a woman ever was only to provide a means of support and a way to raise children?
Adam was married to Chava before there was a need to work for a living. And the gemara in Avoda Zara 5a (I don’t do daf yomi but I found it interesting to see that it happens to be today’s daf) has no problem entertaining the possibility that there was a mitzva for spouses to be together even though no children would ever be born. (Without going into details, the gemara at that point made an assumption that had the story of the golden calf not occurred no children would have been born, and yet prior to that the men were told to go be with their wives.)
Clearly then, marriage never was simply to create an avenue for those two goals.
I’m sure there is lots of room for discussion regarding what actually is the purpose of marriage.
EDITEDAugust 19, 2010 5:29 pm at 5:29 pm #698847
FYI, it is a mitzva to actually do the action of Keddushin, both for the male and the female (Keddushin 41a).
The Chelkas Mechokek in AHZ 36.1 says the mitzva of the woman is only as a “misayayh” (helper) to the man for him to be M’Kayem the mitzva of P’ru U’rvu. Accordingly, if the woman is incapable of having children, it would seem there is no mitzva to get married.August 19, 2010 5:42 pm at 5:42 pm #698849
The Rosh in Kesubos 7b says that marriage is not a prerequisite for the mitzva of pru u’rvu, and the Ramban is most famous for his shita that it can be fulfilled with a pilegesh.August 19, 2010 6:20 pm at 6:20 pm #698850
(Not like I have to back up the C”M), but) The concept of a helper could still apply even if it is possible to be Mekayem the mitzva using other methods.August 19, 2010 6:24 pm at 6:24 pm #698851SJSinNYCMember
Yit, a pilegesh is a sort of marriage. Today, pilegesh is not acceptable at all. At least, I haven’t heard it is.August 19, 2010 6:35 pm at 6:35 pm #698852
Pilegesh acc. to the Rambam is only by a Melech or an Amah Ivryah (Jewish maid, completely different discussion, not for here).August 19, 2010 6:37 pm at 6:37 pm #698853Machal ManParticipant
There is actually an opinion that Kidushin is a mitzvah for a female as a flip side to “lo siyeh kedeishah” the same way Schitah is a mitzvah to prevent the eating of a neveilah and Hafrashas Terumah is a mitzvah to prevent the Issur of eating Tevel.August 19, 2010 6:44 pm at 6:44 pm #698854
According to the Ramban, pilegesh is simply a man and a woman who move in together. He recommended to Rabbeinu Yonah not to allow it for it can lead to laxity in Hilchos niddah and other problems, but l’halacha he held it was fine. My point, however, is that you cannot say that the purpose of marriage is in order to procreate, because there is a perfectly legitimate way – in the eyes of the Torah – to procreate without marriage. If you are correct, then the whole institution of marriage seems superfluous.
True, but then she would be a helper in the mitzva of pru u’rvu, not in the mitzva of marriage.August 19, 2010 6:49 pm at 6:49 pm #698855
The Ramban in his letter to R’ Yonah (found at the end of the Chavel Kisvei HaRamban) makes the case that the Rambam actually agrees to him and that what you said is a common misunderstanding. But obviously that is only the Ramban’s opinion.
That pshat would not work for the Rambam who holds lo sihye kedeisha is only when it’s derech znus, and certainly not for the Ramban I mentioned.August 19, 2010 6:51 pm at 6:51 pm #698856
Machal Man: Interesting. Source? (would like to see inside, not disagreeing)
yitayningwut: that is what is Mashma from the C’M as well.August 19, 2010 6:58 pm at 6:58 pm #698857
I know. I don’t think the Ramban’s understanding is well known. I wasn’t really arguing with you, only saying that it isn’t so clear-cut that that is the Rambam’s position.
Agav, there is a tshuva from R’ Yaakov Emden (She’elos Yaavetz 2:15) in which he basically is matir having a pilegesh.August 19, 2010 7:17 pm at 7:17 pm #698858
??? ???? ??? ???? ????? ???? ????????: ????, ?????? ????????; ????????, ??? ????? ???? ???????, ??? ?????? ???? ???? ????, ?????? ??. ??? ?????? ???? ??????, ??? ???? ?????? ???? ??? ?????.
Yad – Melachim 4.4
But then again, I have not seen the Ramban inside.August 19, 2010 7:48 pm at 7:48 pm #698859SJSinNYCMember
Yit, a man still has halachic obligations to his pilegesh, even if she doesn’t get a ketubah. Its still an attached relationship, just a lesser one.August 19, 2010 8:54 pm at 8:54 pm #698860
That is not the universally accepted opinion, but it isn’t relevant anyway. My point was that if you can procreate through a pilegesh then you cannot say the purpose of marriage is procreation, because then the whole institution of marriage is superfluous.
I know the Rambam. Check the Ramban, he has a cheshbon to say pshat in what the Rambam means.August 19, 2010 9:24 pm at 9:24 pm #698861
yitayningwut – I don’t know, I can’t think of any other mitzva that could be applicable here besides piru u’rivu. Like GAW said, I think marriage could still be a hechshar mitzva even if there is another way to be mekayaim that mitzva.
Machal Man – Very intresting. I’ve never heard that before, but it does make alot of sense.August 19, 2010 9:49 pm at 9:49 pm #698862
I always believed that the primary purpose of marriage is for building a bayis ne’eman. Procreation is a natural result that flows from that, but we do not forbid marriage between people who cannot procreate (i.e., the elderly).August 19, 2010 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm #698863
Correct OOmis. One is considered to be incomplete without a spouse.August 20, 2010 4:19 am at 4:19 am #698864
oomis1105 & fabie – Finding your soulmate is very nice, but I cannot think what the mitzva in that may be. Piru u’rivu, however, is chiyuv mi’dioraysah, and therefore I believe it is the primary purpose of marriage.August 20, 2010 5:42 am at 5:42 am #698865
It cannot be, in my opinion, that the purpose of marriage is in order to fulfill the mitzva of pru u’rvu. I say that because it is clear from the fact that one can fulfill the mitzva of pru u’rvu without marriage that the purpose of marriage is not simply in order to procreate. And that isn’t to say that its purpose is a specific mitzva. In fact there is absolutely no reason to assume that. Since when does the purpose of one mitzva have to be another? So perhaps it is as Oomis and Fabie said, that one is somehow incomplete without a spouse and there is something special about a bayis ne’eman, or maybe it has something to do with family life being more conducive to a healthy society, or some other purpose, but to say that the primary purpose is in order to be mekayem pru u’rvu is incorrect, in my opinion, simply because we don’t need marriage for that.
And btw, see the Rosh I mentioned before who uses this argument specifically to prove that the bracha of eirusin is not a birchas hamitzva.August 20, 2010 1:01 pm at 1:01 pm #698866
So I took a look at the Rosh, it does say what yitayningwut claims, that you can be Yotze P’ru U’rvu without Keddushin.
The Rosh continues though, to say that Birchas Arusin (Sheasar) is a Birchos HaSheveach, and not a Birchos HaMitzva, because getting married is NOT a mitzva.
So now we have proven that according to many Rishonim and Achronim in many cases, if not all, there is no mitzva to get married.
I always believed that the primary purpose of marriage is for building a bayis ne’eman.
Hate to be cynical, but which of the 613 is that? (there is an answer (I think), this is Socratic)August 20, 2010 2:18 pm at 2:18 pm #698867
Getting married is not a mitzvah, Chazal teach us that it is one of the main purposes in creation though. Have any of you seen what Kabbalah happens to say about the topic.
Good middos are not mitzvahs, but they are an integral part of teshuva, and create a human character which will peform Torah and mitzvos.
Becoming a complete person, and saving the world from Dinnim.August 20, 2010 2:47 pm at 2:47 pm #698868
Chazal teach us that it is one of the main purposes in creation though. Have any of you seen what Kabbalah happens to say about the topic.
I’ve decided I’m not holy enough to learn or practice Kabbalah.
I would like to know where the Chazal is, though.August 20, 2010 2:54 pm at 2:54 pm #698869
I agree, but just to build on what fabie said, it is clear that the Torah considers marriage to have a purpose. The Torah says ??? ???? ??????? ????? ??? ?????? ????? ?????? ??????? ???????????? ??????? ???????? ?????. Why should it be that way? Why shouldn’t man just mate with a woman like an animal and have children and then move on with his life? Regardless of whether or not it is a mitzva, I think everyone will agree that the Torah seems to advocate the institution of marriage, so it is fair to ask why.August 20, 2010 3:01 pm at 3:01 pm #698870
But see Ishus 1:2
???????? ???, ???? ??? ?? ???? ??.August 20, 2010 3:31 pm at 3:31 pm #698871
Lav davka does he mean it’s a mitzva in that sense. For example, the Rambam counts as a ‘mitzva’ the way to go to the mikva and become tahor, in circumstances where one is not required to do so. He also counts the order of yerusha as a mitzva. The Rambam seems to have a trend, which the Ramban in the sefer Hamitzvos argues vociferously against, that when a certain method is delineated by the Torah and no other, that is called a mitzva. (I apologize that I don’t have those sources offhand, but it should be pretty easy to find those two by checking the index in the back, of the pesukim) Therefore he could simply be saying if one wishes to marry a woman, the way to do it post-matan-torah is with kiddushin, and since that is the only way that the Torah says works, it is called a mitzvas aseh. But not that there is a mitzva for one to get married. I hope I’m being clear.
By the way, the Ramban in that letter interprets this Rambam as not necessarily saying the only Torah-sanctioned way to live together with a woman is through kiddushin, but rather the only way to marry a woman is through kiddushin. I am not coming to judge the validity of this position, only to note the Ramban’s opinion.
Also, hey, doesn’t the fact that there is a birchas hashevach for getting married prove that chazal viewed it as a good thing? I share similar sentiments to you regarding kabbalah though.August 20, 2010 3:54 pm at 3:54 pm #698872
Also, hey, doesn’t the fact that there is a birchas hashevach for getting married prove that chazal viewed it as a good thing?
The shevach seems to be for making us more Kaddosh (kiddishanu) by disallowing relationships, and allowing others only via Chuppa.
I agree getting married is a “good thing”, the question is why.August 20, 2010 4:10 pm at 4:10 pm #698873
I agree getting married is a “good thing”, the question is why.
So we’re on the same page then. I’m also trying to figure that out. Until now I was only trying to prove that certain things are not the reason.August 20, 2010 5:03 pm at 5:03 pm #698874
yitayningwut – “Since when does the purpose of one mitzva have to be another?”
Who said marriage itself is a mitzva?August 20, 2010 6:57 pm at 6:57 pm #698875
I did not mean to imply that. My point is that the Torah and Chazal seem to clearly view marriage as purposeful, not necessarily as a mitzva.August 20, 2010 8:56 pm at 8:56 pm #698876
“Correct OOmis. One is considered to be incomplete without a spouse. “
True, and when he does get married, then he is really finished!
(I didn;t read all the posts through, so if anyone else said this first, yasher koach on your sense of humor).August 20, 2010 8:59 pm at 8:59 pm #698877
Marriage is a good thing by virtue of Hashem saying, “Lo tov heyos adam l’vado.” There is no other reason. A good dog is a companion, too, but unless one can communicate with it, he is still l’vado.It is not good to be a bodaid. That’s how people get into trouble.August 20, 2010 9:12 pm at 9:12 pm #698878
MW13 says:oomis1105 & fabie – Finding your soulmate is very nice, but I cannot think what the mitzva in that may be. Piru u’rivu, however, is chiyuv mi’dioraysah, and therefore I believe it is the primary purpose of marriage. “
Finding your soulmate is more than “nice.” It is a biological and spiritual imperative. While pru urvu is a chiyuv, nonetheless not all people are able to mekayeim that mitzvah and they are STILL allowed to marry each other. Childless couples R”L, do not HAVE to divorce (the husband MAY divorce his wife if he chooses, after ten years with no children – though it could be due to something wrong with him – but he does not have to). Elderly people may marry, even for the FIRST time (probably a rarity, though), when there is absolutely no chance in the present day world that they will be fruitful and multiply, nor would they want to at that age. Women who have had hysterectomies, do not have to be divorced. They continue in their marriages (assuming the marriages are good ones), and intimacy is still very much a part of life. If having children were THE reason for getting married, none of these marriages would be permissible. If a man has an accident and is no longer able to be a husband in all respects, does his wife demand a divorce? Maybe some women would, but not if they truly cared for their husbands. My father-in-law of very blessed memory, was not frum, and took care of my invalid mother-in-law for the last thirty-five years of their marriage. She was 42 when she had a devastating stroke that left her paralyzed. They had a very happy marriage, but I am certain there were some very serious changes in their life together after that. And they were both young.
Marriage is about or should be about two people making a holy life together with mutual love,respect, and love of Torah. Children, while a very important aspect of marriage today, only help to further cement the bond between husband and wife. But if the bond is not already there, the piruah and rivyah will not make that marriage good. Unlike other religions, Judaism recognizes that physicality is VERY much a part of a Torahdig life. It is part of the kesubah.August 21, 2010 12:05 am at 12:05 am #698879sof davar hakol nishmaMember
oomis your comment about the dog, really made me laugh. I live in an OOT community where there are TOns of dogs, and people treat them like – companions. It’s really scary, how they talk to them… someone once explained to me that it’s because dogs are very loyal and loving. You can scream and let out your anger and frustration on it and it won’t hold a grudge. It won’t be insulted and demand respect, like people do.
and a personal bakasha from everyone, we can talk about marriage but lets make sure its in a tzniusdike fashion. (you don’t have to get defensive i barely read the thread, i’m just pointing something out.)August 22, 2010 1:42 am at 1:42 am #698880
oomis1105 – “Finding your soulmate is more than “nice.” It is a biological and spiritual imperative.”
That may be true, but that doesn’t make it a mitzva.August 23, 2010 4:26 am at 4:26 am #698881
REALLY mw13? It isn’t a mitzvah? That’s not how I understood the first perakim of Breishis. BTW – if it were not a mitzvah, we would not make brachos on it. The wedding I just went to convinces me you are mistaken.August 23, 2010 4:38 am at 4:38 am #698882☕️coffee addictParticipant
it’s possible that there are opinions that say marraige is a mitzvah for the man, some say it’s a hechsher mitzvah for the man and some say kiddushin isn’t a mitzvah at allAugust 23, 2010 6:48 am at 6:48 am #698883mitkintMember
Actually, the Mitzvah of P’ru U’r’vu is on the man only, not on the lady, because childbirth puts the woman in a life threatening situation, and the Torah does not command the woman to play with her life. However, most women are naturally blessed with the mothering instinct, where they want to have children, over and over again, regardless of the pain and potentially life threatening situation it puts them in. Therefore, procreation is not a requirement of marriage, rather, as mentioned before, a natural and flowing outcome of two people who want to create a life together, and create new life together. For a man, it is a mitzvah, and generally, this can only be done halachically today through marriage (as the idea of a pelegesh does not exist today and I’m not sure, but I would imagine that a child out of wedlock has serious halachic ramifications). So, I would think that while getting married is not a mitzvah in and of itself, meaning one can stay single their whole life, to fully complete your life, to bring children into the world and fulfill P’ru U’r’vu (for men, nowdays) one would have to get married. And therefore, one has to do it the right way, with Chupa and Kedushin. Oomis, you went to a wedding. There were brachos made. Doesn’t make it a requirement to do it to begin with. Hafrashas Challah is a mitzvah. I don’t do it, fine. I bake challah, and I make a certain amount of dough, I have to make a bracha on it.August 23, 2010 6:58 am at 6:58 am #698884
I stand corrected. It’s quite clear that there is a machlokos whether marriage is a mitzvah or not.
The rambam States in Ishus “1,2” and in sefer hamitzvas “213” see the magid Mishnah there, clearly that it is a mitzvah.
Similarly the sefer hachinuch “552” as well holds it’s a mitzvah.
Apparently the Smag & Smak as well hold that shita, but I haven’t yet seen them inside.
On the other hand the Ran in the beginning of the second perek of Kiddushin, on the Gemara “Bo yoser mebeshlucho” says the mitzvah is “pru uvru” the achronim are medayik, I saw in Reb Shmuel’s shiurim that there is no mitvah of nissuin or kedushin.
The Rushin Kesubos similarly asks a question why the bracha of the Chupa isn’t a short mitzvah bracha, from this he concludes that there is no mitzvahs kedushin-nesuin.
I didn’t find any mention of a mitzvah neither in tur or Shulchan Oruch.
On the other hand the Revash 398 (see comments by the Mechon Yerushalayim) asks an opposite kasha as that of the Rush. Why is there bechlal a bracha by kedushin-nesuin if there is no mitzvah, anf it’s only dinim. He then argues with rav chasdai, and concludes it’s definitely a mitzvah. He answers the Rush’ kasha by saying that the lengthy bracha is tosfes shevach for this important mitzvah.
Apparently the Shach as well paskens it’s a mitzvah, but I haven’t seen that inside yet either..
The Derech Hamelech (I saw this in the M”Y notes) mentions beginning of hilchos ishus, that the Menchas Chinuc when he was mesader kedushin, would tell the chasan to have kavanahs to be yotze mitzvahs esseh of the those shitas who hold it’s a mitzvah.August 23, 2010 2:35 pm at 2:35 pm #698885
As I mentioned before and as Fabie elaborated, there is a machlokes rishonim whether or not marriage is a mitzva. Oomis, the fact that we make a bracha doesn’t prove it is a mitzva, because the bracha can simply be a birchas hashevach. Just like when I buy a new suit I make a she’hechiyanu, and no one will say that this proves there is a mitzva to buy a new suit.
Just a side point, your assumption about children born out of wedlock is incorrect. Such a child, provided that neither of his parents are unkosher in some way or arayos to each other, has absolutely nothing wrong with him and can even be the kohein gadol if he is a kohein.August 23, 2010 2:44 pm at 2:44 pm #698886
I think some people here are missing the point. Even if pilagshus is not practiced today, the concept in and of itself proves that the purpose of marriage is more than just pru u’rvu. For if we admit that at any point in history the Torah sanctioned the institution of pilagshus and yet still promoted the institution of marriage (not necessarily that it is a mitzva, but that it is looked upon as a positive thing), we must ask what is the need for marriage if pru u’rvu can be fulfilled by a man and his pilegesh? It must be that marriage means more than just pru u’rvu or else it would be superfluous. Therefore the question is, what is the special significance of marriage which the Torah advocates that doesn’t exist in another relationship?August 23, 2010 5:09 pm at 5:09 pm #698887
OOmis – as far as the bracha goes, refer to my previous post. The Rush uses that as evidence for the contrary, while the Revash uses that as evidence that it’s a mitzvah.
Rush – Is the Rabeinu Asher, the father of the author of the Tur Shulchan Aruch.August 23, 2010 7:52 pm at 7:52 pm #698888
REALLY mw13? It isn’t a mitzvah? That’s not how I understood the first perakim of Breishis.”
From which pasukim do you get this understanding from?
“BTW – if it were not a mitzvah, we would not make brachos on it. The wedding I just went to convinces me you are mistaken.
As has been explained above, that bracha is not a birchas ha’mitzva.October 6, 2010 3:40 pm at 3:40 pm #698889tzippiMember
I was going to comment on the closed thread. This is what I learned in (hushed whisper for next word) seminary:
We are to emulate Hashem, Whose ultimate middah is giving; we are to aspire to be like Hashem and become givers. Everyone can and should become givers but marriage, and parenting, is probably the biggest for want of a better word shortcut to become givers.
And this next I also heard Rabbi Reisman touch on last year. All relationships are metaphors for how to relate to Hashem. Hashem created society with the potential for all sorts of relationships – siblings, friends, children, parents, spouses – and this gives us insight into all the different aspects of relating to Hashem (though of course we are always the children in that equation).
So again, marriage is highly desirable. Mitzvah or not, for whom, I’ll leave for others.
Again, just to stress, we can still become really giving people who truly love Hashem, but this is the ideal situation. No wonder it’s something healthy people want so much.October 6, 2010 3:56 pm at 3:56 pm #698890squeakParticipant
Mawwage. Mawwage is what bwings us together today. Wove, twue wove… So tweasure your woves fowever.October 6, 2010 6:57 pm at 6:57 pm #698891MoqMember
Guess you squeaked by the censors…
True, there is a question of what mitzvah one is mekayem by marriage. But why? I know a bit about Halacha – but my approach here is that is the answer to why I breath. Lomdus? Sure.
Any marriage which is a tool to be mekayem a mitzvah is a sad one. Sure, you may be makayem a mitzvah as well. But that can’t be the point. “Dearest Hechsher Mitzvah, how are you doing today?”
When R’ Akiva Eiger writes after the death of his wife, that he can nor learn nor sleep, that he can barely daven and mumble a bracha when he eats, and rejects in anger the shidduch offered to him – do you think he was mourning a mitzvah, like shemini atezeres when you leave the succah? I think he was able to dance simchas Torah.
Are you mekayem a mitzvah? Perhaps. But that ain’t the point. Listen carefully – Hashem put things in the Briah that are correct and real, before Taryag mitzvos. Taryag mitzvos are to be added to our humanity. Marriage however, is part of our humanity.
“Savara Hee, Kraa Lamah Lee” – the reality within us is just as obligatory, if not more.
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