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Is it preferable to marry a virgin?

by Mrs. Shaina B. Lipskier

  

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Marriage is two entities becoming one, and Judaism reveres and sanctifies this union.

The Torah ensures the sanctity of marriage by providing specific guidelines for Jewish family life. Adherence to these guidelines does not start when one becomes of age to marry, but way before then. Interaction between sexes is not condoned, and one is to abstain from any sort of physical contact, even such which are seemingly non-intimate.

Such a lifestyle affords one the possibility to understand the boundaries between the sexes, allowing each to grow on their own and celebrate their individuality to a higher degree. This also prevents the desensitization to the power of intimacy and the dullness which may result from casual mingling between the sexes. Inevitably, one who grows up in such a society will marry a spouse who has not been intimate with a member of the opposite sex prior to marriage.

In other words, virginity per se is not important. What is important is marrying a person with Torah ideals, a person who respects the sanctity of marriage and wants a holy union, and has actually sacrificed certain pleasures for this purpose. Therefore, it is obvious that a pious widow, widower, or divorcee is "preferable" to a virgin who is lacking in sensitivity and rock-solid family values.

What happens to those that don't have the opportunity to grow up this way, and have experimented together with the rest of America? Are they to be outcasts? Doesn't everyone deserve a chance at happiness?

Those that find themselves in the category of "been arounds," have the opportunity to re-examine their values and change their ways. The Talmud says that "the status of the penitent person is unachievable for the Saint!"

Basically, it isn't our status, or how we may be termed that makes us preferable. It is how we muster our resources to package ourselves as spiritually conscious people committed to making this world a holier and better place, one Mitzvah at a time.1

Footnotes

  • 1. The Kohen is an exception to the above rule. See "Can a Kohen or Levite get married to any Jewish woman?" http://www.askmoses.com/en/article/665,2404/Can-a-Kohen-or-Levite-get-married-to-any-Jewish-woman.html
TAGS: virgin, virgins

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Life Cycle » Marriage » About

Mitzvah
(pl. Mitzvot). A commandment from G-d. Mitzvah also means a connection, for a Jew connects with G–d through fulfilling His commandments.
Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Talmud
Usually referring to the Babylonian edition, it is a compilation of Rabbinic law, commentary and analysis compiled over a 600 year period (200 BCE - 427 CE). Talmudic verse serves as the bedrock of all classic and modern-day Torah-Jewish literature.