Jewish law requires that both the husband and wife consent to marriage or the marriage is not valid. In practice, however, certain Chassidic communities effectively force a couple to get married – a process which, while conforming to the technical details of halacha, does not truly give either spouse much choice in the matter.
To discuss this difficult topic and the issues of consent that arise from it, Scott Kahn and Talli Rosenbaum spoke with Eve Sacks and Yehudis Fletcher, co-founders of Nahamu, about the markers of forced marriage, how the shidduch system might lead to forced marriage, and what can be done so that both husband and wife can enter a marriage willingly and with their full informed consent.
(Also listen to the discussion that Scott and Talli have on Intimate Judaism, which extends the discussion to questions that affect Orthodox Jews outside of the Chassidic world. The episode is entitled “(31) Consent and Coercion: Does Judaism Promote Forced Marriage and Sex?” and can be found here: intimatejudaism.libsyn.com/)
Please listen to and share the podcast, and let us know what you think on the Orthodox Conundrum Discussion Group on Facebook (www.facebook.com/groups/432020081498108).
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Music: “Happy Rock” by bensound.com