REPORT: "Marriage" - 5th meeting of Eilat Interfaith Encounter
- Tuesday 11.5.04 - 5th meeting: "Marriage"
Marriage in Christianity - the Latin Church
Marriage in Christianity is according to Jesus' instruction that was
derived from the Bible. In Genesis 1: human was created in the image of
God - one human who is both male and female with the same self-dignity and
Monogamy came later: in the 4th century B.C. in the time of Ezra and
Nehemiah and in Tuviah book in the second century B.C. Monogamy came to
protect women's rights and Paul in his letter wrote: "Men love your wives
like the Messiah".
In the marriage ceremony man and woman are treated the same. The role of
the Priest is to be a witness of the church. The ceremony can take place
in the beginning of a mass or with no mass. Both religious and civil
marriages can not be divorced.
Catholic priests don't marry as the idea is that priests should be monks
who use little from the world.
Marriage in Islam - in Israel
The Kaddi marries - he is the representative of the Ministry of Religious
Affairs. The title of the person who has the authority to make a marriage
agreement is Mazun.
The ceremony takes place in the bride's home. The Mazun comes with two
witnesses from the two sides and separately asks each of the witnesses, as
well as the groom and bride, a few questions. The bride will marry only if
she agreed and then each of them signs the marriage agreement. During the
signing they put rings on each other's right hand. On the day of the
celebration they move the ring to the left hand. The bride's price was
mandatory in the past but now it is only symbolic.
Divorce: it is enough that the man will say three times to his wife "You
are divorced" and she is divorced. It is possible for her first husband to
marry her again only if she was married to another man in the mean time
and was divorced from him. According to Islam a man can marry up to four
wives and additional marriage does not require the agreement of the
Marriage in Judaism
It is commanded by the Torah to live together: man should leave his father
and mother and go to live with his wife.
A woman is bought to her husband by money, a contract or sexual relations.
The groom covers the bride's face in order to prevent what happened to
Jacob when Leah and Rachel were exchanged. The bride and the groom are
queen and king for the day of their marriage and the canopy (Huppah) is
their royal first home.
The ceremony developed throughout the years. A marriage needs two
witnesses but a Rabbi's presence is not mandatory. What counts is the
putting of the ring by the man on the woman's finger and his saying "You
are hereby sanctified to me" - such marriages can be released only by the
Polygamy was originally allowed in Judaism. Still, towards the end of the
second Temple period the Jewish society was monogenic. Our Rabbi Gershom
issued excommunication on polygamy for a thousand years. In 1996 the
thousand years ended and all streams of Judaism instructed for it to
During the ceremony the marriage agreement (the Kettubah) is read in
Aramaic and a glass is broken to remember the destruction of Jerusalem.
There are seven blessings said in the ceremony and in the following seven
days of celebration. This is a due to the fact that the woman bleeds
during the first sexual relations and therefore the couple can not come
close for the seven days - so celebration is performed for seven days to
allow her to relax and heal.
Divorce is not recommended and efforts should be made to prevent it. But
if there is no other choice it is accepted and if the court reaches this
conclusion they will also hit the husband until he agrees to give the
(Reported by Mazal Katzir, Malca Levin and Tawfiq Zougbi)
The Interfaith Encounter Association
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Sr. Karmela Farrugia, Chair
Sheikh Muhammad Kiwan, Vice-Chair
Mr. Shlomo Alon, Vice-chair
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Sheikh Tawfiq Salama
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