A Selection From My Favorite Jewish Sources
By Rabbi Mordechai Levin
Hebrew Bible, Genesis 2:18
The Lord God said: It is not good for man to be alone.
Hebrew Bible, Genesis 2:24
Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and they become one flesh.
Hebrew Bible, Song of Songs 2:1-3, 10-13; 4:1-11; 8:6-7
I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. As a lily among brambles, so is my love among maidens. As an apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among young men. With great delight I sat in his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.
How sweet is your love, my sister, my bride! how much better is your love than wine, vand the fragrance of your oils than any spice! Your lips distill nectar, my bride; honey and milk are under your tongue; the scent of your garments is like the scent of Lebanon.
Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.
Pirkei deRabbi Eliezer, 32:2
Isaac mourned his mother Sarah for three years. At the end of those years, he married Rebecca and stopped mourning his mother. Thus, we see that until a man takes a wife, he directs his love toward his parents. Once he marries, he directs his love toward his wife.
Talmud, Yevamot 63a
Rabbi Eleazar said: A man who has no wife is not a complete man, for Scripture says, “He created them male and female . . . and He [only then] called their name ‘man’ [Adam]” (Genesis 5:2).
Talmud, Pesahim 49b
A man should sell all his possessions in order to marry the daughter of a scholar.
If he cannot marry the daughter of a scholar, let him marry the daughter of one of the great men of the generation.
If he cannot marry the daughter of one of the great men of the generation, let him marry the daughter of the head of a synagogue.
If he cannot marry the head of a synagogue, let him marry the daughter of a collector of funds for charity.
If he cannot marry the daughter of a collector of funds for charity, let him marry the daughter of a schoolteacher. But let him not marry the daughter of an ignoramus.