Part Four in the "Benefits of Judaism" series
Marriage is so good that the Torah allows multiple wives. I guess the more the merrier.
Surely all the benefits of religious marriage only apply to people who truly believe in Torah Judaism?
An unmarried man was informed that married people live longer. The man responded it just SEEMS LONGER.
Agreed, more or less, on most points.
Interesting your claim that the bashert concept is dangerous but the secular world has even more dangerous points. You can say the same thing about 1000 different things in all areas of life, because from marriage to domicile to elections, the choices we make in no way imply we think them *perfect*. We just think them the *best*. Highlighting flaws (in any event subjective) accomplishes nothing for someone who's already made his selection, because any alternative can also be shown to have flaws. All changes in hashkafa or politics is merely the exchange of one set of problems for another.
"Overall, I think it is enormously advantageous for boys and girls to only form relationships in the context of assessing suitability for marriage based on shared goals and values."
Not so simple.
For the naive and brainwashed among the Charedim, this can lead to marriages where there is ONLY suitability based on criteria such as skirt length and number of years of Kollel, but no physical attraction or love to each other. This can cause deep resentment to this system after the brainwashing has worn off.
In contrast, in the secular world there isn't much of a variety of values for two people in the same economic class, so physical attraction is the primary motive for a marriage partner.
Would married homosexuals live longer ?
Lower divorce rates in religious communities could be due to the fact that the marriages are happier. Or they could be due to stigma surrounding divorce that leads people to stay in unhappy marriages. This stigma is largely absent in the non-religious world.
"(Incidentally, this is a rare case where I believe that the way things are done in charedi circles is superior to what happens in non-charedi circles. While the shidduch system certainly has its drawbacks, overall I think it is enormously advantageous for boys and girls to only form relationships in the context of assessing suitability for marriage based on shared goals and values.)"
Would it not be too hard for dati boys and girls to stay away from forming relationships with each other if they are part of Israeli society and interact regularly with secular people and media and all their boys and girls are very occupied with relationships? Maybe this is only possible for Chareidim who are more isolationist.
“Orthodox dating” is a newfangled modern concept, since the Jewish way was to pair up young people, who then approved or rejected each other. It does seem to work for young men not yet desperate for women and for young women not yet desperate for motherhood. A brief singlehood that is a “taanit-tzibur” rather than a “ra’av.” IMHO this is the message of Kiddushin 29b: get married young, lest ch’v you descend into Yevamos 62b “b’li simcha” misery or a Kiddushin 40a descent into z’nut.
While the benefits of marriage are no doubt as you say, that's only if you are allowed into the club. However many Jewish people with mental illness, developmental disabilities, or some other manifestation of being "too different" and considered undatable (in a shiduch sense) and only get married by lying or failing to reveal important information.
Shulchan Aruch (Even Haezer 1) says:
"חייב כל אדם לישא אשה" and also says that "ומי שעברו עליו ך' שנה ואינו רוצה לישא ב"ד כופין אותו לישא". That the beis enforces marriage after age 20. It is true that the Rema says that we do not do that, but the
Beis Shmuel explains this is only because "אין גוזרים גזירה על הציבור אא"כ רוב ציבור יכולים לעמוד בו". But in principle it's essential that people marry. And then it later says "אע"פ שקיים פריה ורביה אסור לו לעמוד בלא אשה". So even after procreation one must be married. Even for חרש וחרשת chazal were meskain kiddushin. And I am discussing people who are able to talk and who are chayiv in mitsvos.
But the tsibur makes it impossible for some (when they don't lie or can't lie). And then because they are not allowed de facto to marry, they inevitably will commit huge aveiros. They also feel socially rejected and as though they are not full Jews. So it seems that we limit the benefits the marriage within our community.
Years ago I heard reports that in Williamsburg Viagra is very popular because. there are chareidim who are not attracted to their wives.
You need the input of psychologists that have orthodox patients. You play down the importance of sexual attraction in marriage. You make marraige sound like a comfortable business arrangement. Not an attractive situation.
What about the fact that the Creator of the universe demanded that we be religious and keep the Torah?
People who are genuinely sincere about practicing Judiasm don't weigh benefits vs perceived disadavntages, as if it is a choice of which vehicle to purchase.
Hmmm maybe Chrisitianity is a good choice...or maybe a sip of agnosticism chv....
Yes we should strive to comprehend as much as possible the many good reasons for mitzvos but on a most fundemental level we do it because He said so.
Those who listen go to Paradise after they die. Those who disobey burn in hell.
You don't like it? It won't change the reality of the basic tenets of Judiasm.
Hmm you raise some interesting points. I think the religious approach regarding human sexuality and family matters may have some drawbacks (e.g. telling teenagers they go to hell for masturbating, stigmatization of homosexuals, making it impossible to have healthy platonic relationships with members of the opposite sex, agunot, pumping out your 7.1 babies who will all grow up in poverty while your husband learns in Kollel, etc) but is extremely healthy and normal, all things considered.
The reason why religious people are more likely to get married is because they are more likely to cling to old-fashioned traditional values. Modern young people see less value in marriage in the first place.