Marriage: Angels and Popes

What is the Jewish perspective on marriage? Why does Judaism put such an emphasis on marriage and family? When looking at different religious icons, contemporarily and historically, we realize a behavior of abstention of physical engagements and celibacy. The obvious explanation being, that spiritual people should spend their days in prayer, meditation and elevated activities. An intimate relationship would not only be a distraction from all the above but a direct involvement with the earthy world they are so desperately running away from. So why is it that all great Jewish teachers, prophets, priests[1] and sages, married and bore children? Would they not be better off spiritually if they would live like their non-Jewish counterparts?
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