Friday, November 18, 2011
Will You Marry Me?!
“The [Israeli] Rabbinate’s marriage-registration procedure has become a major source of tension and anxiety...we can now efficiently administer the entire Jewish marriage process in a warm and welcoming environment”. So says Tzohar, an Israeli organisation that marries an average of 3,000 couples each year. These are mostly non-religious couples who would likely have gone to Cyprus or other venues outside Israel to tie the knot - without a Chuppah. However, The Israeli Chief Rabbinate Council this week said it would investigate the procedures of the organization of Modern Orthodox rabbis that performs alternative religious wedding ceremonies for non-religious couples. The Council added that it could overturn an agreement brokered last week, between Tzohar and the Religious Ministry that allows rabbis from the group to marry people. Should getting married the Jewish way be made easier? In this week’s Torah portion we meet the first ever matchmaker, Eliezer, the trusted servant of Abraham. He [Abraham] said to his senior servant of his household, who was in charge of all that he owned: “Place your hand under my thigh”. I will bind you by an oath to G-d, Lord of heaven and earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of Canaan...instead you must go to my native land...and obtain a wife for my son Isaac.” Commentators ask, why the juxtaposition of Eliezer’s position as trustee and executer of Abrahams’ entire household and the oath? Furthermore, if Abraham trusts him with all his portfolios, surely he should have confidence in finding a spouse for Isaac his son, why the need for the oath altogether? One answer given: In buying stocks or managing properties, Eliezer had complete freedom. But when it came to choosing a suitable wife for Isaac, the future of the Jewish people, Abraham made Eliezer swear in the name of G-d. Abraham was setting the standards: Jewish continuity, the sanctity and sacredness of marriage, must be of the highest standards, with G-d’s involvement. Shabbat Shalom
Posted by Mendel Cohen at 5:17 AM