Marriage and Divorce; Gay Marriage

  • Marriage used to be considered a sacred bind between two people male and female. This bind between the two people was reinforced by religion.
  • Sometimes you can’t marry the one you love like the story of Romeo and Juliet. In Biblical law love was not considered important before marriage.
  • Marriage is more than sex. It has the purpose of procreation through love and pleasure.

Marriage and divorce is not considered like it used to be.  Marriage used to be considered a sacred bind between two people male and female.  This bind between the two people was reinforced by religion.  The marriage bond between male and female is both legal and emotional.  It demands financial and sexual responsibilities to the spouse which are supported by courts of law.  If any of the two partners refuse to fulfill their responsibility to their partner married under the law, they have the right to request a divorce.  The court judges if there is an obligation to divorce according to the law. 

The laws of religious marriage depend on the code of ethics of their religion, laws of marriage and divorce.  Judaism is very strict to punish a woman for adultery and require divorce.  In Judaism divorce is required to be done by the religious court.  Civil divorce is not accepted in Judaism.  The result of a married couple whose wife commits adultery and she gives birth to a child; this child is considered a Mamzer a bastard and cannot marry another Jew.  The mamzer is no longer part of the congregation to marry within the congregation, but he is still considered a Jew.  A Mamzer who is an observer of Jewish law and a scholar is considered greater than a holy priest that is less observant.  This was the Law of Moses given to the Jewish people.  An adulterous woman or man is punishable by death.  A man according to Jewish law can have more than one wife but a woman is sanctified only to her husband alone.  Today in the Ashkenazic western world also the man is allowed only one wife.

Muslim law follows the way of the Law of Moses in regard to marriage and divorce.  In both religions, the major purpose of marriage is to make a family.  Marriage and family is the cradle of life.  Each religion considers the importance of to be fruitful and multiply.  Each religion supports the needs of its nation, which is make their nation great and powerful through generations of children practicing their law.  Another reason for marriage besides to make a family is for the sake of modesty.  Both Muslim and Judaism prohibit promiscuity sex without marriage. They both prohibit intermarriage. Ultra-Orthodox Judaism restricts love-making even between married people to intercourse alone with kissing and hugging. Oral sex is prohibited because it is considered desecration of the seed or semen.    

The church also considers marriage a sacred bond between man and woman according to Biblical law.  It is very often difficult for married couples to continue together for many reasons.  Not to allow these couples to separate and divorce can create adultery and other tragedies including violence.  To encourage divorce by making it easy for married couples especially those with children, is also not a good idea.  Sometimes religion can be too strict and rigid by not allowing divorce.  In a society which is not governed by religious law like today , these stringencies  which existed when there were religious courts of law to demand the same supervision over marriage as was before creates rebellion amongst the masses.  In Judaism was created reformed and conservative Judaism with more leniency in divorce and marriage. In Judaism the man has to give the divorce of his own free will.  If he refuses, he can be coaxed through violence until he agrees.

To discuss the severities of Jewish law which existed in the time of the National Religious State will only cause confusion and ridicule.  To prohibit two partners to be together who consider themselves like married without a marriage ceremony today is impossible to enforce.  To condemn their children because of the sins of their fathers and mothers is also hard to accept today.  However, Judaism upholds the sanctity of marriage and the importance of family purity according to Torah law. 

When the Kingship of Israel was established in the times of King David and Solomon there was decreed that even engaged couples were prohibited sexual relationships.  The prohibition of sex before marriage extended to the whole nation to become punishable in the courts.  Before this decree people had the choice to marry or not to marry according to their life situation.  There were relationships out of wedlock which were allowed in the nation.  The people fought a civil war to protect these rights in the time of Judges chapter 19, the majority of the nation felt that there should be free choice and leniency to decide to marry the one you love.  When the nation was formed, a few hundred years later these rights were removed and no man and woman could be together or be alone in a house without a marriage contract.  This became the law and in Orthodox Judaism today this law is continued. 

Marriage ceremony according to the Written Torah the five books of Moses is not compulsory.  People can decide to marry or not to marry, even live together.  Young people who want to make a family for sure should marry to secure the future of their children.  Birth control in Jewish law is only for those that have good reasons.  In many instances, to require marriage when the people are not ready to have a family becomes a religious burden on the population.  To encourage promiscuity is also a danger to the population. 

Many men have difficulty remaining celibate and women to protect their virginity before marriage.  There are also people today that have been overcome by the sex desire to have same sex sexual relationships.  Homosexuality although condemned by God in the Bible, has grown through the years.  Today Homosexuals feel pride to be Homosexuals and march in the streets to declare their happiness that they are free to be promiscuous.  They even want to marry together to show that they are not promiscuous and are good people.  Many people concerned about their children worry about diseases which are created from sexual abuse like Syphilis, Herpes, and HIV virus. Society today are less worried than the  parents concerned about upbringing of their children like they were in the past. People today depend on doctors more than before, that they have a cure for STD sexual transmitted diseases.  The Torah which is not only religious document but a guide to life, prohibits homosexuality and other types of sexual abuse.  Morality has declined in America and the Western world.  However the punishments of the bible law for these abominations certainly cannot be demanded today.  Pope Francis accepted homosexuals in the church.  However he did not accept same sex marriage.

Marriage wasn’t a requirement in the times of the bible until was made the religious dictatorship in Israel. For what reason do homosexuals have to marry?  They can live together without marriage.  Marriage is to combine opposites male and female to reproduce naturally in the pleasure of sex.  Marriage is a family institution and not for promoting promiscuity.  To condemn homosexuality today in a modern society is like prohibiting sex out of wedlock.  However recognizing same sex marriage has no meaning without procreation.  If they want a stronger bond between them let them go to an attorney a make a legal contract something like a prenuptial agreement.  Don’t call it marriage. Marriage is sacred.

Most important if you marry recognize your responsibilities to your spouse.  Love is a natural instinct with a divine spark behind it.  You can kindle love through creating an everlasting bound called marriage.  Sometimes you can’t marry the one you love like the story of Romeo and Juliet. In Biblical law love was not considered important before marriage.  To jump the gun and sleep with your girlfriend could end up disastrous.  Abortion is considered like murder in biblical law especially after the third month of pregnancy.  Marriage and sex in Biblical law are connected.  There is no marriage until the partners have intercourse.  The sex between homosexuals is not enough to be considered marriage in Biblical law. Homosexuals should feel some shame for not being able to control their sex desires.  There is a psychologist PHD from Texas studying Judaic law in Jerusalem who confided in me as his mentor that he was involved in homosexuality while in college.  He wants to marry again after a short marriage and divorce. However he confides in me that when amongst homosexuals he is still tempted to join them in their activity. He feels embarrassed because he knows the Torah law but his instincts are still more powerful than his intellect.  Pope Francis can forgive homosexuals but not encourage homosexuality through endorsing gay marriages. 

It was revealed lately after the Pittsburgh Massacre in the synagogue that the people in the synagogue were in the middle of a ceremony of circumcising an adopted child of a gay couple on the eight day as is the custom.  For a gay couple to request to circumcise a child and to raise the child to be homosexual seems like a contradiction.  Circumcism is a ceremony and ritual act to reinforce sexual purity. Being a good Jew and being a good Christian for a homosexual has to have conflicts through gay marriage.  Gays who decide to get married and adopt children are trespassing on human rights of these children.  Adults have free choice but not children.

The Guru Janardan preached unity of opposites in the breath of life between inhalation and exhalation.  In the breath of life there is unity of opposites. In the breath of God which created the world through attraction and repulsion, there is a unity of opposites. Hitler decided to conquer the world by taking a deep breath without releasing six million Jews from captivity or forty million human beings from destruction. When he was defeated and killed was released his breath forever. Dictatorship like Hitler is a one way do or die philosophy against unity and freedom.  Marriage is sacred because it combines opposites male and female.  Nationalism without globalization has no perfection.  A perfect world combines the law of God with freedom.  There is free choice and mankind makes the choice to live according to the divine law.  The State of Israel at the time of the temple did not give free choice. The Nation was not ready for freedom.  Today the whole world is ready for freedom to unite with divine law and ethics.  Christianity can unite with Muslim and Jewish faiths without having to become one religion but they can be part of one world faith.

Marriage is more than sex.  It has the purpose of procreation through love and pleasure. Gays that marry cannot reproduce naturally.  They shouldn’t even be allowed to adopt children.  Claiming to be married will not justify being homosexual; it is only their weakness which God can forgive.

David Wexelman

Rabbi David Wexelman is the  author of five books on the topics of World Unity and Peace, and Progressive Jewish Spirituality. Rabbi Wexelman is a member of the American Friends of Maccabee, a charitable organization helping the poor in the United States and in Israel.  Donations are tax deductible in the USA.

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