What does the Torah say regarding the reasons that one should get married?

I am looking for sources such as "ein simcha beli isha" and other philosophical intrinsic reasons for finding a mate.

  • 2
    Just some thoughts without citations: to not waste seed; to psychologically build oneself (tiqqun middot) by working on Shalom Bayit for an entire lifetime; to give to someone else in one of the most intimate ways life has to offer; to fulfill the mitzwah of 'Onah; to be physically intimate with one's partner in a Halakhically permissible manner
    – Lee
    Apr 29, 2015 at 15:18
  • Are you asking for reasons specifically from a male's perspective?
    – Double AA
    Apr 29, 2015 at 15:20
  • @DoubleAA, correct. IIRC a woman has no obligation to get married.
    – Ani Yodea
    Apr 29, 2015 at 15:21
  • 1
    @AniYodea She's not obligated in Pru uRvu, but I thought the whole point here was to look at other reasons. 3/5 of Lee's suggestions above apply to women. As does GG's answer.
    – Double AA
    Apr 29, 2015 at 15:28
  • Ani Yodea, that isn't strictly true see here April 29 2013. She has reasons to get married, although it isn't an "obligation" (see Beir Heitiv E.H. 1 s.v. 27)
    – Yishai
    Apr 29, 2015 at 15:34

5 Answers 5


The Gmara in Yebamot (63a) says that an unmarried man is not a man:> א"ר אלעזר כל אדם שאין לו אשה אינו אדם שנאמר(בראשית ה, ב) זכר ונקבה בראם ויקרא את שמם אדם  And that a man without a woman is unhappy, unblessed and not good (Yebamut 62b):

א"ר חנילאי כל אדם שאין לו אשה שרוי בלא שמחה בלא ברכה בלא טובה בלא שמחה דכתיב(דברים יד, כו) ושמחת אתה וביתך בלא ברכה דכתיב(יחזקאל מד, ל) להניח ברכה אל ביתך בלא טובה דכתיב(בראשית ב, יח) לא טוב היות האדם לבדו 

This lead the Rambam and many other Poskim to say that even a man that was יוצא ידי חובה of the mitzvah of פרו ורבו should remarry ( רמב''ם הלכות אישות ט''ו, ט''ז ):

מצוות חכמים היא שלא ישב אדם בלא אשה שלא יבוא לידי הרהור

This can be summarized in the Ramban and Meiris writings:

ומי שהזדקן ופסקה ממנו תאוות אשה, ואינו משתוקק יותר לקיים מצוות עונה, כיוון שכבר קיים מצוות פרו ורבו, אינו חייב לשאת אשה. ואמנם גם זה שהזדקן והשתוקקותו נחלשה, אם ישא אשה ויחיה עימה באהבה ושמחה – יקיים מצווה. הן מפני שהזוגיות היא המצב הראוי לאדם, שעל ידה הוא מקיים בשלימות את המצוות שבין אדם לחברו, והן מצד מצוות עונה עצמה. אולם כאשר הוא חושש שמא יגרם לו צער מנישואין נוספים, כי אולי לא יצליח להתקשר באהבה עם אשתו השנייה, כל זמן שאין חשש שמא יחטא בהרהורי עבירה, אינו חייב לישא אשה. והיו גדולים שכך נהגו, שאחר שנפטרה אשת בריתם, לא נשאו אשה שנייה.

(רמב"ן ומאירי ליבמות סב, ב; חכמ"א קכג, ו; ערוה"ש א, ז).

If you are looking for a deeper and more philosophical (though very personal and emotional) view, I highly recommend Harav Joseph B. Soloveitchiks mass on marriage. Can be found in his book איש וביתו.


To expand on "It is not good for man to be alone." The passage at Genesis (Beresheit) 2:18 also follows with "I will make him a helper.", from which one can infer that a man (or woman) needs a helper in life; not just helpers here and there, but one permanently made for the other.

(Disclaimer: I am a born-again Christian with much respect for Judaism as my understanding is that Judaism is the forefather of Christianity at large.)


Well for starters "Lo Tov Heyos Ha'adam Levado".

  • 1
    This not much of a reason but more of a statement or expression.
    – Ani Yodea
    Apr 29, 2015 at 16:40
  • 1
    @AniYodea What? The is the reason Hashem explicitly gave that a man should have a wife.
    – Ypnypn
    Apr 29, 2015 at 18:04
  • The reason that man should get married is because it's not good for man to be alone? I guess that can work - if you think about it.
    – Ani Yodea
    Apr 29, 2015 at 18:05

Having children is a mitzvah which can be fulfilled when there is marriage but isn't the reason for marriage. From the Torah...

Bereishis chapter 1 verses 27 And God created man in His image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them זוַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹהִים | אֶת הָאָדָם בְּצַלְמוֹ בְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים בָּרָא אֹתוֹ זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה בָּרָא אֹתָם

Bereishis chapter two verse 18 And the Lord God said, "It is not good that man is alone; I shall make him a helpmate opposite him."

Bereishis chapter 2 verses 22 and 24 22. And the Lord God built the side that He had taken from man into a woman, and He brought her to man. וַיִּבֶן יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהִים | אֶת הַצֵּלָע אֲשֶׁר לָקַח מִן הָאָדָם לְאִשָּׁה וַיְבִאֶהָ אֶל הָאָדָם 24.Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. עַל כֵּן יַעֲזָב אִישׁ אֶת אָבִיו וְאֶת אִמּוֹ וְדָבַק בְּאִשְׁתּוֹ וְהָיוּ לְבָשָׂר אֶחָ

G-d made man and woman together as one person originally as alluded to in the first posuk quoted here. When together they were whole but alone. This tye of wholeness did not allow for a deeper level of intimacy. Then they were separated and told to be together. The purpose of marriage is achieving the intimacy of oneness between husband and wife. This oneness in marriage mirrors and teaches us about our relationship with G-d.


why else should a Jewish person want to get married?

When Hashem brought the various species before him, אָדָם said, “All of them have a mate and I do not!” Immediately, Hashem brought slumber upon אָדָם and fashioned חַוָה from him. Why did אָדָם feel the need to have a helpmate? Hashem said, “It is not good that man be alone.” Once Hashem said that statement, it became a reality.

A man feels incomplete without a soulmate. However, a woman is not as aggressive about finding her soulmate. Still, Reish Lakish says, “It is better to live as two together than to live alone.”

Why? The Yerushalmi answers: “Man cannot live without woman and woman cannot live without man…”

R’ Yehoshua was asked: “Why is a man assertive in asking a woman to marry him and a woman is not assertive in asking a man to marry her? R’ Yehoshua responded using an analogy: To what is this matter comparable? To one who lost a possession. He seeks out his lost possession, but the lost possession does not seek him out.

G-d removed one of אָדָם’s ribs to create חַוָה; man, always seeks its return through marriage, as he becomes whole once again by joining with his “lost possession,” whose assistance he needs to fulfill all of his needs and aspirations. Therefore a man shall… cling to his wife and they shall become one flesh.

Read Marriage, Love and its Mechanics.

  • It would be helpful if you paraphrased some points here
    – robev
    Apr 5, 2018 at 22:31
  • Please indicate that your answer is a quote from an external source.
    – Alex
    Apr 8, 2018 at 3:58

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