Purpose of Marriage in Judaism
- Companionship- To have someone to be with for the rest of one's life, especially in times of sickness/misfortune.
- Faithfulness- To have a loving sexual relationship, just with that person. Marriage is the right context for sex.
- Procreation- To have children and fulfill the first mitzvot ('Go Forth and Multiply').
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Key Aspects of a Marriage Ceremony
- Chuppah (the jewish wedding canopy)- Symbolises the family home.
- Veiling- Man unveils the woman before to check its her (links to the Story of Jacob and Leah).
- Dancing- Before the official marriage.
- Wine- Symbolises God's blessing in their marriage.
- Bride Circling the Groom (7 times in Orthodox ceremonies)- Shows that her husband is the centre of her life.
- Ring- Symbolises promise and eternity.
- Breaking of Glass- Symbolises the destruction of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem.
- Yichud (seclusion)- Couple left alone to symbolise the sex they will have in private.
- Ketubah- marriage contract.
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- 'If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death' (Leviticus)- this implies that homosexuality is wrong and that it is punishable by death.
- Homosexual relationships do not fulfill the first mitzvot ('Be fruitful and multiply') as same sex couples cannot reproduce.
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Civil Partnerships (Continued)
- They have a strict interpretation of the Torah and believe it is wrong.
- In spite of this, they respect and welcome homosexuals because Jewish communities are compassionate.
- They have no right to be homophobic.
- They accept that sexual orientation is natural.
- Sexual activity between homosexuals is acceptable in loving and committed relationships.
- Approves of rabbinic officiation at same sex commitment ceremonies.
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