The Creation story is famous for its list of things that are “good,” but it’s less often noticed that there is one thing in creation which is not good – Genesis 2:18 tells us that “it is not good for man to be alone,” and that’s why God makes Eve. We are not made to be solitary; we’re meant to be with a partner. A mate. We were made for marriage, literally.
I love that teaching (which is why some of you have heard it before!), but I don’t remember ever connecting it with the realization that other religions don’t share this view. I recently read a d’var torah which pointed out that, for example, Catholicism sees marriage not as an ideal, but as a concession. In Catholicism, celibacy is the ideal.
So, to my Catholic friends who read this (or anyone to whom this applies), I have two questions: firstly, is this a fair representation of Catholic doctrine, or did the Rabbi get it wrong? And, if it is accurate, can you explain it? I don’t meant that in an accusatory way, it’s just that I’ve never thought too much about how far apart we are on this. I’ve always known that Judaism and Catholicism have very different views on sex, marriage and the like, but I never realized how fundamentally this issue might speak to our view of human nature. Any of you care to shed some light on why the Catholic church holds this view?