Marriage – 37
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Marriage and family life are central values in Judaism. Jewish law and custom is family oriented and transmitting eternal truths to one’s children is the mainstay of Jewish thought. Israel, as we have seen, is also a central value in Judaism. It is therefore interesting to see how these two important principles reflect and reinforce each other. References to the land of Israel are intentionally included in the wedding ceremony itself. On the other hand, what happens when these two principles come into direct conflict with each other? The centrality of marriage in Judaism also makes it a lightning rod for issues in Israel today dealing with religion and state, Jewish identity and nationhood. If marriage is the Jewish framework for families and families are the bricks out of which the Jewish nation is built then the question of what constitutes a marriage is not just a personal one but a national one as well and one which the state today is struggling answer.