Till 2013 Do We Part

Should marriage be declared temporary?

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Comments (14)

(13) Anonymous, October 23, 2011 3:04 PM

courtship/engagement =/= marriage

Isn't that what the dating period is for? This is the time when people get to know one another, and decide whether they want a greater commitment. The engagement is an extension of that - and can go on for as long as the couple feels necessary. Marriage is designed as a lifetime commitment. People need to learn to take it seriously as such. Yes, sometimes things (and people) change, and marriage must end ... but it is based on promise for life. Anything less is exactly that - LESS.

(12) Shulamit Mallet, October 19, 2011 4:18 AM

To build trust, there has to be commitment

Dear Rabbi Salomon, I'm horrified at the idea of this 2 year "marriage" contract. Using the word marriage in this context is inappropriate. If this bill passes, which I hope it doesn't, it should be called a partnership. Marriage is an eternal commitment. We do live in a society in which everything is disposable. People forget that things that are of value are worth investment. If you look at Beraishis (Genesis), when G-d created man, man was one being. This included the male and female aspects of man. G-d gave man life as one unit. Only afterwards did G-d separate those aspects.When G-d separated man into 2 beings, G-d left each with a reminder of the other, the word "kineged" refers to this. I picture the aspects as similar to a yin/yang sign. In the male aspect, there is a reminder of the female, in the female, a reminder of the male. Together they make a whole. It's the nature of all things to try to revert back to it's natural state. We go through life looking for that other part of ourselves that will make us whole, the part that will match up to what's in our heart. But even when we find that other half, it takes work to keep that circle a whole. One of the inclinations of man is to always look for something better. If a person goes into a relationship thinking its temporary, no matter what his original intentions, he will always be looking around for something better, and if the relationship requires too much effort, dump it for the grass next door. But what happens when he realizes that there are bald patches there, too? This is obviously a tremendous danger for the Jewish religion, as it introduces many halachic issues, but society will suffer, too. The nuclear family will take an even bigger blow, and our youth will lose the stability that gives them confidence. Relationships of any kind, require work. G-d created man as one being, it's a message to us. G-d wants us to find our other half, and to develop the trust that will keep us whole. A Gut Yom Tov

(11) TMay, October 16, 2011 7:26 PM


I just got the meaning of the photo attached to the title, a cut ring. Of course they don't deserve to put on a gold ring that is a circle. They deserve a fragment of a circle as their symbol, perhaps a necklace with something that looks like the bottom of a "u". That way if someone is interested they know they only need to wait a maximum of 2 years. This is not like choosing to fly coach when you could upgrade to first class. This is a whole different commitment. It should not be called marriage. People should not play around with definitions. I think the concept overlooks the children because it is not as if you can go back to "Go" and everything reverts to how it was two years earlier. If children, have come, the game is changed forever. I guess Mexico has decided that a family made up of a mother and a father is not the best way to raise a child. Personally I have always thought that when one gets the answer "whatever" that the parties discussing the subject really don't care about the issue being discussed. Raising a human child is a very long term proposition. People talk about how much longer people live, do you realize how much longer a child is dependant on a parent, given college and graduate school and higher and considering that Pres Obama said that children stay on their parents" medical insurance policy till age 27. According to life spans of previous ages that is 5 years before the children died of old age.When the govt wakes up, the next thing it will do is to require a license for humans to have children, and that is certainly not where we want to go. And with this 2 year marriage, considering that a woman can get pregnant at any time, she could be married when she gets pregnant and single when she gives birth. Some men consider pregnancy special.Others think the woman looks ugly and "fat" and impossible to live with. Is this the time we want to give him his freedom? How about when the baby is young and waking up in the middle of the night?

(10) lisa, October 16, 2011 1:02 PM

when do we expire??

I think its fine...bc if your really in love & enjoying a good solid marriage then you will subscribe for another few years...then another few years!! I dont think it's an easy out, esp if there are children involved, albeit its a re-evaluation of your current situation. It's very reflective of the times. Somehow I dont think it'll seep into the Jewish world.

(9) Beverly Kurtin, October 13, 2011 4:52 PM

It depends

Mexico is bowing to reality. 'Til death do we part was/is fine when people were typically married for 20 to 30 years prior to dying. Today we live much longer than anyone could have predicted just a few decades ago. Middle age used to start around, what, 40 to 50 years? Now it is closer to 55 to 60 years or even more. I'm 70 years young. People used to be dead long before they hit the biblical two score and ten. Social Security was written when people might live to 67 or a year or two more. Almost nobody made it to 70 or more. But today, middle age is creeping up. If it wasn't for spinal stenosis I would feel as alive as I did 20 years ago. In fact, I'm going back to work because retirement stinks. I've no days off, no weekends, no holidays...it's like being on permanent vacation at home. Had I hadn't divorced my first husband, we would have been married 50 years; that is a long time, longer than anyone could have imagined not that long ago. With more and more couples living together before they marry, the Mexican limited marriage at least makes any children born during the trial period legitimate. What is even more disgusting than temporary marriage is the corporate mindset of disposable employees. I had been working as a media specialist at a pair of radio stations when my boss came to my work station and told me that I could finish the day or go home now but I no longer had a job. I had received no notice whatsoever. The corporation wanted to hire a new DJ and to pay what he wanted, they eliminated my entire department; all told, we lost 14 research people and even my former boss had lost his job. My youngest son (now 39) had worked for one company since graduating school 21 years ago. The company kept "down sizing" but making him pick up the work of the others. Finally, he had a heart attack and as thanks for his years of loyalty, he was fired because he missed a couple of appointments WHILE HE WAS IN THE HOSPITAL'S ICU! Sigh...

(8) Rodney Wilkinson, October 13, 2011 10:21 AM

Disposable Marriages

Thank you Rabbi Yaakov Salomon, this was certainly news to me. Rabbi, I am not a Jew but I certainly support you view on this one, thank you and Bless you. From Western Australia. Fortythree years so far.

(7) Susan, October 13, 2011 2:45 AM

Daughter married today

This I hear on the day my daughter and brand new son in law got married. This will be a good thing to remind them of. Thank you.

(6) Chayah, October 11, 2011 8:08 PM


What a video to see and hear on the very same day my son and his fiancee went to get their marriage license! ANYTHING can happen in a marriage, whether it's 2 years or 2 days.....illness, abuse, finanacial woes, children and their problems, in-law worries, sick parents......troubles do not have a time schedule....let's keep a good outlook and pray that HaShem will guide us on the right "bridal path" and love and devotion will prevail! AMEN!

(5) Torah is Eternal, People's choices are finicky, October 11, 2011 5:08 PM

Whose contract?

i think these contracts are a cheap way of trying to secure a dynamic. "Love", financial security, adventure, whatever. which is either PRESENT in the beginning or not, according to the degree that the two souls have destined, (or pre-destined) for themselves & a whole lot of happenstance "in between"!! Some 'torah marriages' are blessed by a new beginning - a baby- that nudges the parents into commitment they otherwise would have made: the difference is in the INTENTIONALITY of the parents & their ability to be committed. And of, course, their relative obedience (or disobedience) to time frames. I think there is a hidden text in this bill which is thoroughly unspiritual, & the name of that department is Immigration ... or 'migration' however you want to posit it.

(4) ruth housman, October 11, 2011 11:27 AM

if you can do it with words, maybe, it WILL happen!

HOLY, WHOLLY, HOLE Y It seems to me that there is a deep validity to what you're saying, and that when we pull issues and sacraments to the extreme, we get both, meaning an abundance of what's sacred and an abundance of absurd on the other end of extreme, and in the middle you have the real meaning, a staving for balanced outlook and balance in all things. It seems to stretch thin the notion of what marriage means to sign contracts for limited time. Why bother at all then? Just live together. As to comments about Divine Love, I would say the entire world is beloved, and that we need to be careful in specializing out, ourselves, in this way. I believe in all Creation as special and beloved and for me that's the meaning of Sukkot. To succor, that meaning, within the word, to savor what's gifted, the moon, the sun, the stars, this vast incredible firmament, and also the notion of shell in being heard, the waves, of hello, of good-bye, and shelter that brings us all together, and not apart.

(3) annie, October 11, 2011 3:42 AM

temporary contract marriages

in the secular world, this was much 'the style' in the early '80's -- it didn't catch on like wildfire but for those who fell for it, it made for quiet parting of the ways which is why we didn't her about them, they really were 'quiet' - but by setting the eye on a near-by date to end a relationshiop that's exactly what happened Like any goal, when we keep our eye on the goal, that's likely where we end up. No goal? that's where we end up too.

(2) Keren, October 10, 2011 6:31 PM

The bill is not about Jewish marriages

Without knowing pretty much anything about the actual bill in Mexico City, I would however like to point out that the circumstances in which it will have been created are probably quite different from the American Jewish middle class context. Mexico is a catholic country and catholic marriage has no option of divorce, even in a situation of abuse (annulment is possible through the Vatican). Mexico is also a country with an amount of teenage pregnancy, at which point many couples decide to marry and build a family. It is possible that this bill is being passed to help young people trapped in an abusive marriage which was formed quickly as a result of pregnancy. This way they would be able to leave at the end of the contract. Of course it is not a good bill in terms of respect for marriage and may well not be the best solution, however I don't think we need to fear that the same phenomenon should take place in the Jewish setting, as long as we treasure our marriages, take care of them and obviously since we allow for divorce when there is abuse in the relationship.

(1) Anonymous, October 10, 2011 5:17 AM

From a practical point of view

If the marriage is bad it won't last either way. But if the the marraige has potential to be good, the two-year contract will destroy it while in the Torah way, it will flourish and grow.

Dvirah, October 15, 2011 5:56 PM

Not Necessarily a Bad Idea

The two-year (or other time-limited) contract need not necessarily destroy the marriage - one can always renew the contract. In fact, this may give young people a chance to adjust to a marriage without pressure, since if it doesn't work, they have an "out." If it does, they can then remarry on a permanent basis. The main difficulty is how the children are to be provided for if the marriage does not work out and the contract is not renewed. But this can be a problem for an ordinary marriage with a "standard" divorce also.


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