June - The Month of Weddings

by Rabbi Daniel Schur

In marriage, man not only obeys the laws of nature and fulfills the will of G-d, but he also enters a high plane in Jewish life, for marriage converts the animal, bestial, and carnal instincts into an ideal, religious rite. The Jew looks upon the day of marriage as a hallowed day, a SEMI-ATONEMENT DAY, and they solemnize it similarly to that day. On the day of the marriage, the bride and the groom fast, reflect on their past, make solemn resolutions for the future, and pray most earnestly for a successful, happy state in their new epic of life.

How distinctly different this is from the frivolity, lightheadedness and inconstancy so prevalent in, and degrading to many modern marriages.

Many present day brides and grooms are captured, as it were, by the lasso of passion, and when that passion has attained its desire and vanishes, they succumb to indifference. This passion turns into misery and hatred, culminating in revenge and tragedy to such ventures. That so called wedding is but a license for legal gratification of bestial longings.

The honeymoon of today resembles the primitive form of human sexual mating, when the male used to capture and run off with a female. Many germs of divorce are planted in such a honeymoon. The modern style of symbolizing marriage and honeymoon by having old shoes, cowbells, empty cans and the rubbish attached to the carriage of the newly married couple, following them in their first step of their new life, is just an expression of their conception of marriage. Where can that lead, if not to the junkpile? For, after all, as a man and a woman think of marriage, so their marriage will be.


The modern custom called "Honeymoon" where the couple hide and run away as though playing at or imitating shameful acts has not been the practice of the Jews. Jewish newlyweds see no reason to hide or be ashamed; their minds are clear - their consciences are clear, and their sense of modesty unembarrassed. They do not subject themselves to the discomfort of being away from home in strange places and under new conditions, which are likely to result in restlessness and irritation. It is the duty of friends to make merry the bride and groom and to felicitate and feast them for seven days. By this time, they gradually become blended into a family, and their lives are welded by the means of happy surroundings and the good will of the relatives and friends who participate in their joy thus preparing them for a continuous "honeymoon" for life.

The Torah has appointed a guard at the marriage door the evening when the parties have been declared husband and wife in the name of kedushin - sanctity, they are permitted to come together only once in marital relations, then they must separate and refrain from any intimacy, as in the case of a "Nidah". This is the first degree of exercising self-control, self-denial, self-conquest, sacrificing passion on the holy altar for a pure and more enduring love.

Following that separation, the bride has to perform the process of "Nidah" and purificaiton of "Tvilah" after which the couple are continuously subject to the ordinary periodical observance of the rule of "Nidah-Tviloh" which always separates them for about twelve days of each lunar month.

By this practice, passion is never permitted to burst into flame and be snuffed out; but the check of self control is always applied, thus maintaining the romantic element forever.