10) Love and marriage






“Veohavto eth adochem

Bekhol levav’ho

Ouvekhol nafche’ho

Ouvekhol meodeh’o”



Aimer de tout son coeur

C’est donner le bonheur

Aimer de tout son corps

C’est embrasser très fort


Aimer de toute son âme

C’est faire brûler la flamme

Que la foudre a fait naître

Dans les coeurs de deux êtres



Aimer de tout son coeur

C’est chasser toutes les peurs

Aimer de tout son corps

C’est affronter la mort


Et quand tout se déchaine

Se brisent toutes les chaînes

Il faut pour fuir le drame

Aimer de toute son âme



Aimer de tout son coeur

C’est répondre à toute heure

Aimer de tout son corps

C’est caresser tres fort


Et quand dans la tourmente

La peine est peu clémente

Il reste au fond du coeur

L’amour de son âme soeur







The bible makes a distinction between 3 kinds of love opposed to English, knowing only two kinds of love. In the bible one makes the distinction between physical love, charitable love and spiritual love. One can find this back in the Jewish credo “Chema Israel”, little text one will find on the door post of every jewish family and describing the attachment of Jews to their god saying: “…You will love your god with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength…”

Extrapolating this verse to human love one can deduct that in order to find perfect harmony, a couple has to be united by physical love (lust), by charitable love (enjoying to give), but last but not least by a union of the soul (the Platonic love) in which a couple is the reunion of two halves fitting together as if they once were one.

This is symbolised in the bible by Eve being a part of Adam’s flesh.

In scientific terms the attachment between two people has to be of physical (correct physical proportions), neurologic (correct neurologic function of the brain with sexual arousal), and hormonal (activity of pheromones, amphetamines, and endorphins,…)kind.

In the bible marriage is nothing else than a commitment made by a man to a woman before witnesses, following their first intercourse, by a physical gage (the wedding ring). This was vital because intercourse led to maternity. And according to the bible it was mandatory for a man having a child with a virgin to remain responsible for the raising of the child he procreated by marrying the woman or by purveying a scholarship for the child.

Everything else during a marriage is a formality: The canopy is just a symbolic house where the couple is supposed to have its first intercourse. So, once a man and a woman have intercourse in a closed house, they are considered married by the bible.

Love passions in the bible are very strong and without compromise. For example the love from Jacob for Rachel is so strong that Jacob worked 7 years for his stepfather in order to merit his doughter.

We can find a lot of other examples of love passions in the bible. The song of songs is a masterpiece of the description of love feelings from king Solomon for his black skinned beloved one.

Today we know that love passion and religious passion are very close at the affective level of the human brain.

The sensation of euphoria caused by ” love at first sight ” (coup de foudre) can result in a lot of irrational feelings, and can even result in agnostics to feel ” paranormal ” experiences.

One was able to show the presence of amphetamine like neurotransmitters after a ” love at first sight ” experience which can explain the irrational sensations of people in love.

Every step of a love affair can be witnessed by measurable biochemical changes. Our behaviour is modulated by regions of the brain secreting different kind of neurotransmitters. Some of them acting as a stick (causing fear and pain) and others acting as a reward (so called amines such as amphetamins, endorphins, etc…). Beside the classical neurological reflexes of sexual arousal more profound changings can be witnessed.






Recognition of the ideal partner (described since thousands of years as ” love at first sight ” or ” coup de foudre “, recognition of the Platonic half soul etc…) gives measurable changes one can witness in behavioural changes and in chemical changes as well.


The first step of ” love at first sight ” is correlated with a very important secretion of amines such as phenylethylamine having an activity comparable to amphetamine. Behavioural changes are characterized by weight loss, anorexia, absence of sleep, and the feeling of being able to lift mountains.


The second step of ” love at first sight ” is correlated with the secretion of endorfins acting on the brain the same way morphin acts. Behaviour is then characterized by tranquility, wellness, and a complete rest brought by the mere presence of the beloved one. This step can take some years and is usually better felt by the absence of endorfins following a separation which is very painfull, than by the presence of endorfins which feels as a general feeling of well being.


The third step usually after 4 years according to American statistics happens usually with or without the birth of a child. This step leads to a rupture. Of course the love cycle can be reactivated every 4 years.

This scheme is very brief and of course human behaviour cannot be reduced to a few neurotransmitters. Human behaviour is more complex than that.


In biblical times marriage with women of other origin (for example Boaz and Ruth (grand-mother of king David), Joseph and Asenath, was more the rule than the exception. The only condition was not to be an idolatress. Even marriage with men of other origin was no problem (for example Esther with king Assuerus).

Finally after the dispersion in diaspora, rabbis ruled that the mother was determinant to know if the child was Jewish. The biggest problem was the idolatry of the partner.

And yet, king Solomon had enough tact to tolerate the presence of some idols at the home of his wifes living far from their birthplace. This was actually a main point of discontent for the wise Samuel who was the one who chose the kings. This caused the schism of the Jewish monarchy between Juda and Israel.

And when Jacob brings back Rachel from Haran, she takes her gods (elohim) with her. They are called ” Teraphim “. But of course this happens before the episode of the 10 commands, and can be pardoned.

After dispersion and diaspora intermarriage became an abomination. This is a phenomenon well known to sociologists and one can observe in all minorities. A marriage out of the community represents a treason to the group.

Ethologists (specialists in animal behaviour) explain the behaviour common to men and animals that consists in the defense of next of kin, patriotism, sacrifice of one’s life for his country, a way of preserving a common genetic patrimonium.

Intermarriage represents a major point of concern for jewish communities all over the world.


Only in Israel intermarriage is better tolerated because less dangerous for the community. Indeed out of Israel intermarriage puts almost automatically children of those marriages out of the community. It is very difficult to deal with the fate of a minority if one is not bound by very strong ties. Beside exceptions children of mixed couples will melt in the society where tey live in.

Where intermarriage weakens the Jewish people in the diaspora, intermarriage give strength to the Jewish people in Israel. One often observe heroic behaviour in Israeli soldiers resulting from mixed couples. And the greatest kings of Israel were children of intermarriage. David was the grand son of Boaz and Ruth.

Monogamy is an acquired principle that is evident even for atheïsts. But this principle is not universal. A lot of cultures are polygamists, and some are even polyandric.

Maimonides explains that the interdiction to desire one’s neighbour’s wife results from the necessity to keep peace. Indeed love passion can lead to violence. Two men in love with the same woman can fight heavily. But two women are less prone for violence. Is this the reason king Solomon had 1000 wives. Anyway one had to wait untill the 10th century of our era to see polygamy forbidden by the rabbis. This was the result of the emergence of equality of rights between men and momen in Spain. And as rabbis argued in the beginning there was only one Adam and one Eve….







Published in: on 24/10/2006 at 09:05  Leave a Comment  

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