The Tradition Of Marriage
|The first of the
613 mitzvoth (commandments) in the Torah is"peru
ur-vu" (Be Fruitful and multiply). Judaism sanctifies every
dimension of human experience from birth to death, from
eating eliminating. Sexuality and procreation are
sanctified by marriage, the primary purpose of
which is the creation of life. Every wedding sets the
stage for the next generation of "the children of
Israel". The Talmud records that "one
who does not participate in 'be fruitful and multiply'
causes God's Presence to vanish". Indeed, marriage
is seen as the prototypical act of creation.
The Zohar, the great book of Jewish Mysticism, states: "God creates new worlds constantly. In what way? By causing marriages to take place."
In the Midrash, the imaginative rabbinic literature "somewhere between commentary and fantasy... that sprouts up between the consecrated words of Scripture," the creation of male and female inspired a fabulous tale about the first wedding.
The wedding of the first couple was celebrated with pomp never repeated in the whole course of history. God Himself, before presenting Eve to Adam, attired and adorned her as a bride... The angels surrounded the marriage canopy, and God pronounced the blessings upon the bridal couple, as the hazzan does under the huppah. The Angels then danced and played musical instruments for Adam and Eve in the ten bridal chambers of gold, pearls and precious stones that God had prepared for them.