If we had to find one word to describe the difference between men and women in Jewish law it would be obligation.
Men have to pray three times a day, and go out to minyan no matter what the weather. They are supposed to learn Torah every spare minute.
Giving her the ketuba under the star-filled sky marries prose to poetry: Love starts with my obligation to you.
My responsibility will be the soil from which our love together will flourish.
Every year an equal number of Jewish boys and girls are born – but 20-something years later, there are far more chuppah-minded women than men.
The shortage of marriageable Jewish men is well-known, but the mystery of their disappearance remains unsolved for most of us.
What does she do if her desire for exclusivity, commitment, and a deep relationship are considered inconvenient, quaint and naïve at best?Taking care of a family – taking responsibility, being committed to the people in his care, putting their needs first – is what makes a man into a man.While it may not be good for women when men wait until they are 35 to settle down, for men it is disastrous: they may never meet the hero they could have been.For a man who takes his religious obligations seriously, life is a pretty obligating affair. Instead of casting him as a reluctant participant in a ceremony designed to rob him of his freedom – the unspoken message of wild bachelor parties held the night before a wedding – Jewish law casts him as the proactive initiator.
He commits to her, he promises to support her, he obligates himself to take care of her needs.
Judaism – which is more into equity than equality – has no problem saying that men and women relate differently to relationships.