Segments in this Video

The Founding Fathers and the Chuppah: Introduction (04:03)


In this lecture, Rabbi Meir Soloveichik will describe the experience of the founding father Benjamin Rush as he attended the Jewish wedding ceremony of Jonas Phillips daughter. The documentation of this event is a wonderful example of American Jewish culture at the time.

The Founding Father and the Huppah (07:02)

Rush’s letter to his wife Julia describing the Phillips’ wedding is the only account of this Jewish ceremony for that time following the American Revolution. Rabbi Soloveichik believes this account significant due to the importance of the origin of the Huppa and the foundation of America.

Contract and Covenant in Jewish Marriage (15:41)

Rabbi Soloveichik describes the difference between a contract and a covenant as well as the political importance of understanding these distinctions; in the words of H. Richard Niebuhr, a covenant is binding together of persons assuming responsibility to and for each other under God. In Jewish tradition, covenantal marriage is not a private affair but affects the future of all Jews.

Contract and Covenant in the American Constitution (13:59)

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, a member of the British House of Lords, wrote that America is the only country which combines contract and covenant within its politics. Justice Antonin Scalia notes the significance of the American Bill of Rights is that the American governmental structure will enforce these rights.

The Hebraic Imagination of the American Republic (15:58)

Rabbi Soloveichik argues America is the only country in which different Jewish sects and traditions are peacefully combined; from the wedding attended by Rush, the couple brought Uriah Phillips Levy into the world who bought and restored the home of Thomas Jefferson.

The Founding Fathers and the Chuppah: Conclusion (03:57)

After reviewing the lecture giving by Rabbi Soloveichik, he and Jonathan Silver conclude the philosophy of Jewish marriage and American political ideas is that they both attempt a union while maintaining individuality.

Credits: The Founding Fathers and the Chuppah (00:07)

Credits: The Founding Fathers and the Chuppah

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The Founding Fathers and the Chuppah – The Influence of Jewish Marriage Contracts on the Structure of the American Republic

Part of the Series : The Founding Fathers and Insights Into Religious Freedom
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



In this video lecture, Meir Soleveichik discusses the Jewish concept of a marriage contract and how that influenced the structure of the American republic.

Length: 62 minutes

Item#: BVL145746

ISBN: 978-1-64347-017-7

Copyright date: ©2017

Closed Captioned

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Not available to Home Video customers.