Comparative Study of Jewish Marriage and Hindu Marriage
PART - I
The Old Testament is the first part of the Holy Bible. Together with the New Testament, it forms the scripture that are sacred to Christians. Jews accept only the old Testament emphasizing the idea of covenant between God and His people, and contains a record of their history to show how faithfully they observed this covenant. As a cultural treasure, the Old Testament is one of the most important source we have for knowledge of the past.
Jews divide the Old Testament into three main sections called THE LAW, THE PROPHET and THE WRITINGS. 'THE LAW' consists of the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deutronomy and in this section, we can find rules of marriages and inheritance writing in a disorganised manner.
Marriage is the state in which men and women can live together in sexual relationship with the approval of their social group. Adultery and fornication are sexual relationships that society does not recognize as constituting marriage. This definition is necessary to show that in the Old Testament, polygamy is not sexually immoral, since it constitutes a recognized married state; though it is generally shown to be inexpedient.
Marriage is regarded as normal, and there is no word for 'bachelor' in the Old Testament. The record of the creation of Eve1 indicates the unique relationship of husband and wife, and serves as a picture of the relationship between God and his people. Monogamy was explicit in the story of Adam and Eve, since God created only one wife for Adam. Yet polygamy was adopted from the time of Lamech2 and is not forbidden in Scripture. It is difficult to know how far polygamy was practised, but on economic grounds it is probable that it was found more among the well-to-do than among the ordinary people. Herod the Great had nine wives at one time. Since children were important to carry on the family name, a childless wife might allow her husband to have children by her slave. This was legal in Old Testament. It was practised by Abraham and Sarah and even by Rachel and Jacob.3 The wife gives her maid to her husband on special ocassions. It is difficult to give a name to the status of the maid in such relationship. She is secondary rather than a second wife, though if the husband continued to have relations with her, she would have the position of a concubine.
RULES OF ACQUIRING WIVES FOR PRIEST:
Priest are holy to their God so they must keep themselves pure and clean in all respects. According to the book of Leviticus chapter 21:-
(a) They must not marry women defiled by prostitution.
(b) They must not marry a divorced woman.
(c) They must marry a virgin woman.
(d) They must not marry a widow
(e) They must marry his own people so that they may not defile thier offspring among thier people.
THE IMPORTANCE OF VIRGINITY FOR MARRIAGE:
In the book of Duetronomy chapter 22, a rules or laws of incurring fine to a...