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What is there in the Torah about (lichatchila) marrying a wife that is years older than you?

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shmuel, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks for bringing your question here. Note that any information you already have on this topic, which led you to ask the question, should be edited in to the question. That way, people don't post answers detailing stuff you already know or are not seeking. Also, please consider registering your account, which will give you access to more of the site's features. –  msh210 Mar 17 at 19:43
    
Also, when you say "in the Torah" it may be interpreted as meaning in the 5 books of Moses. If you meant in Jewish literature in general, you may want to make it more clear. Welcome! –  YeZ Mar 17 at 19:46
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Allow me to second (third?) msh210 in welcoming you to the site. As far as I know, Jewish literature doesn't say much about the subject until the early 21st century. The earliest source I can think of is the US Yated Ne'eman in about 2006. Shortly afterwards, an organization called NASI was started to promote the practice. If any such sources exist, that would be the first place to look. –  Yitzchak Mar 17 at 20:19
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I know there is a saying in the Talmud about marrying a divorced woman. And depending on the age, there might be an issue if a man does not yet have children to the extent that they fulfil the commandment, (girl and boy), and the woman cannot have children anymore. Other than that, Yebamoth discusses marrying women who are already mothers, mothers-in-law, even grandmothers. That would be a place to look. –  Baby Seal Mar 17 at 21:16
    
Also, welcome! great question! :D –  Baby Seal Mar 17 at 21:19

4 Answers 4

According to the Medrash Sechel Tov - Shemos 6:15 Moshe was 24 years old when his father Amram passed away at the age of 137. That means that Moshe was born when Amram was 113 years old. His mother Yocheved was 130 when she gave birth to Moshe - Abarbanel. That proves that Yocheved was older than Amram.

It is also known that the Chofetz Chaim's first wife was at least 10 years older than him.

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I didn't know that. How do you know it? –  Double AA Mar 18 at 16:49
    
tzadikim were on a different level than the masses. –  ray Mar 18 at 17:17
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Umm... The passage in Abarbanel that you linked to actually argues exactly the opposite of your conclusion. Abarbanel there argues that while Amram was quite old at Moshe's birth, Yocheved at that time was "only" fifty to sixty years old, making her very much his junior. –  jake Mar 18 at 18:09

I'm not aware of a particular source for marrying older -- or younger, for that matter.

But I'll throw in a nice quote I heard from a Rabbi Pesach Krohn lecture. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch married someone who was older. He commented -- "there's a lot I'm trying to accomplish in life, I can't do it if my spouse is a baby."

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only major halachic problem i can see is that you might be embarassed to show her to your friends/family, or even be embarassed yourself and then come to hate her. thereby transgressing "love your fellow as yourself" and other negative commandments. and even if not now, then 20 years down the road.

I have seen this happen. It's a serious consideration.

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see also this q/a by Rabbi Leff where he seemed to have discouraged it in the following special case: QUESTION hi i accidentally came acroos this website, and i have a very difficult question... im in love with a guy 20 years older than me, we have a very strong relationship, and im getting married in less than a week, i really like my fiance but for some reason i love this other guy alot more...and i feel confused and lost...my fiance doesnt mind that i talk to the other guy and he knows i love the other guy yet for some reason he is still crazy about me and wants me..i want to so –  ray Mar 18 at 8:10
    
badly be good, i just dont know how to continue from here..i know i'm in a tough situation.. —Anonymous, Israel ANSWER: rabbileff.net/shiurim/answers/1750-1999/1928.mp3 –  ray Mar 18 at 8:11
    
the Talmud uses this reasoning -- don't marry someone you'll despise -- as the reason you have to meet the person first to make sure you find them attractive. What you're describing is a result of social pressures in some circumstances, I find that sad. –  Shalom Mar 18 at 8:20
    
social pressure is very powerful as the rambam wrote regarding where to live. and it's not just social pressures. but like i wrote "even be embarassed yourself", i.e. that you may find her old age repulsive sooner or later - and physical attraction is very important in a marriage –  ray Mar 18 at 8:56
    
okay so that's a broader consideration. "Think about how you'll do long-term with this person." The questioner was asking specifically where age is mentioned. –  Shalom Mar 18 at 23:19

I have heard of an opinion (don't remember the source) that based on what the Talmud (in Sotah 2a says that at conception (or 40 days before conception, depending on how you read it), a Bas Kol announces that So and so will marry the daughter of so and so, which implies that when the boy is conceived the girl isn't yet conceived, so she can only be referred to as the (future) daughter of.

However, the Kabbalistic understanding of that passage is that this only refers to the first time the soul descends into this world, and not subsequent reincarnations, so certainly according to that there cannot be such a deduction from the Talmud. In addition, other answers are proposed for the construction of daughter of which do not require such an understanding.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe was just over a year younger than his wife, so there you have מעשה רב to not be concerned about the issue.

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If you find the source, I would be interested. It seems that, for whatever reason, women were often (but not always) referred to in the Talmud as daughter of so and so, for example bas rav chisda. –  YeZ Mar 18 at 18:38

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