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It is a high religious obligation to marry and have children (see PROCREATION, MARRIAGE, and BIRTH-CONTROL), so that the question of whether it is religiously proper to be celibate is really a question of whether there are circumstances when the religious injunction of procreation can be set aside. In practice, throughout the ages, only a very few scholars remained unmarried and there are only a very few instances of a community seeing no objection to appointing a bachelor as its Rabbi (but this is not entirely unknown). The weight of the tradition is against the celibate life even for the most dedicated students of the Torah. With the possible exception of the Essenes, there has never been anything like a religious order of celibates in Judaism.

Subjects: Religion.

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