Marriage And Sexual Ethics In Judaism
Sacred texts such as the Tenach, Talmud and Torah give guidance for all jews as to what they should be doing to live right and just with God. Judaism supports its adherents through these texts to ensure that they live their lives as good jews and have a fulfilling future and hope. Key correspondents to ensuring that the Jewish faith is followed right are the teachings of Rabbi Soloman Isaac (Rashi), Marriage and sexual ethics. All correlating back to the main point, does Judaism support its adherents?
Judaism does indeed support its adherents effectively through various ways. Born in Troyes, France in 1040, Rabbi Isaac Soloman, otherwise known as Rashi, is indeed a key part of everyday Jewish life. Rashi gave extensive and comprehensive commentaries that he wrote on the Tenach and the Talmud while also contributing immensely to education and politics. Throughout Rashi’s time to present day he is still one of the most referred to commentators on the Tenach and Talmud. Today, Rashi’s commentaries continue to assist jews to debate laws, including in the political area. He translated the Tenach + Talmud from Hebrew into French, thereby making these sacred texts accessible to french Jewry. This gave the French an opportunity to ‘live their lives in a manner that will give a future and hope’. Jews saw Rashi as a gift to the people due to his incredible ability. He is a perfect example of how Judaism supports its adherents as he gave various Jewish adherent communities the ability to love right and just not only with God but with the 613 mitzvah. This in turn supported them in being able to live their lives in a right manner with god and gave them a future and hope within the religion.
Rashi had benefited from outstanding education under such Rabbi’s as Yitzchak Haleviin, prestigious Yeshivas in Worms and Mainz in Germany. The solid foundation he gained from these studies enabled him to, in-turn, contribute to the education of Jews, specifically in his home town of Troyes.Rashi’s Yeshiva provided such a rich environment that a group scholars known as the Tosafot emerged. They, in-turn, developed a body of scholarly literature known as the super commentaries, which further developed and expanded upon Rashi’s commentaries. In this way the community of Jews collectively developed a deep understanding of their laws, and the community was sustained and scholarship expanded. Therefore Rashi provided support to Jewish adherents through education which enabled them to live at one with God. Which, in-turn, gave access for them to live their lives in a manner that gave a future and peace.
Marriage in the Jewish society consists of two separate acts. Kidushin (Betrothal ceremony)and chuppah (Actual wedding ceremony). Marriage for Jews is seen through 3 key themes as personal, contractual and relationship. It focuses on the Ketubah which is an integral part of the traditional Jewish wedding. Marriage allows loving companionship between the bride and groom according to Genesis – “ it is not good that man should be alone… Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they become one flesh” Genesis 2:18 and 24. Marriage for Jews is not only seen as significant to the people getting married but also for the community. The brakhot blessing reminds the couple and the congregation of the blessings of God for each other and for the community. It reminds them of God who created them by giving them life and who brought them together and will bless them through their lives. Jewish marriage supports the adherents’ lives as it brings two families together. It is an integral part of community life which galvanizes the community and identifies them with Judaism therefore giving them a future and hope. The elements of the Jewish marriage affirm Jewish beliefs. When the bride around the groom 7 times they are reminded of their belief in one god who created the world in seven days and of the seven patriarchs in jewish history. Jewish marriage supports its adherents by connecting them not only with themselves but with the community, allowing them to live their lives in a manner that will give a fruitful future and hope.
Judiasm considers sex as a gift from god, natural, holy and to be enjoyed while married.However in Judaism each variant of this religion has a different view on sexual ethics. Reformed Jews have rejected the traditional view of Jewish law on homosexuality and bisexuality. As such, they do not prohibit the ordination of openly gay, lesbian and bisexual people. The progressive/reformed is the full inclusion of the LGBTQ. According to Herman Wouk, author of This is my God, The Jewish Way Of Life, “Judaism regards sex as the cord that secures the union of two lovers for life: for shared strength, pleasure and ease, and for the rearing of children.” In 2015, the Reform Jewish Movement led the religious community in affirming the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming people. The Movement stated that it: ‘Affirms its commitment to the full equality, inclusion, and acceptance of people of all gender identities and gender expressions.’ Sexual ethics contribute to the daily life of Jews as some parts of the religion do not accept people who are gay or bi. This is important because different parts of Judaism such as the reformed and Conservative accept people of the LGBTQ community to support them to live their lives as good jews. In Progresive Judaism, pre/extra marital sex is universally frowned upon; according to some authorities, it even falls under a biblical prohibition. The written Torah never forbids sex outside the context of marriage, with the exception of adultery and incest. The gap between the present day theory and reality facing Reform Jews who remain unmarried and sexually active. “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” (Hebrews 13:4) The Torah doesn’t directly prohibit premarital sex. Indeed, at times, rabbinic authorities and traditional sources are lenient during this area. All-in-all Judaism supports its adherents through sexual ethics by providing leniency in most cases and different types of Jews allowing communities such as the LGBTQ to be at one with god. This allows them to live their lives in a positive manner with God and will give a future and hope for them.
In conclusion, Judaism has and still does support its adherents through the still referenced Rabbi Rashi, marriage and sexual ethics. Because as stated in “For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the LORD. ‘They are plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future and hope.”(Jeremiah 29:11). God has plans for all no matter who, to give a fruitful future and positive hope.
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