Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Love at 2nd Sight

How does Chassidic Jewry go about "getting married"? It follows the example of matrimony detailed in Torah between Isaac and Rivkah.

The lesson, and age-old custom, is:
1) Get a mediator to introduce the pair for the sake of marriage; Then
2) Upon mutual consent, get married; And then:
3) Fall in love.

Once the couple was introduced, it says of Isaac (Beraishis 24, 67), "... he married Rivkah, she became his, and he loved her." First came the marriage - then came the love.

Another priority we learn from the above event: Just before the couple's introduction it says, "... she covered herself." In other words, female modesty is proper etiquette.

This may surprise those whose culture puts stock in the pre-requisite of first "falling in love" ("falling" seems to be an appropriate coinage). Secular (or less than orthodox) behavior endorses the flaunting of skin, even promiscuity, before marriage. Torah, on the other hand, assumes both parties will suffer from lack of humility or reluctancy to commit themselves.

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