In response to my post about Charedi (Ultra-Orthodox) women who support their Torah-studying husbands, one of my readers asked me why there is no such concept in Judaism as religious celibacy, which apparently would solve the problem: the holy men who devote their life to religious studies would not have to face the mundane burden of supporting a family, and those who do not feel inclined towards religious life can work to support their wives and children.
The answer could be very long-winded, and of course I'm just skimming the surface here, but I will still say that the Torah is very practical. That's a big part of its beauty. It is not meant to be studied only theoretically, and if a man has knowledge but cannot apply it, what is his knowledge worth? A Jew with a vast religious knowledge is not called to be separated from the world, but on the contrary, to mix in it and turn the mundane into holy by applying the laws of Torah. There is no radical separation of body and spirit.
According to Judaism, each man ought to fulfil the obligation to "be fruitful and multiply". When God called us to have children and fill the earth, He didn't say "oh but wait, those who study Torah full-time are actually released from this". Infertility of one of the spouses is even considered one of the few valid reasons for divorce (though I personally don't think I could go through with it, in a loving marriage).
Being married and raising children is a big step towards infusing the mundane with holy. Of course, when you have a family, you cannot possibly run away from the mundane, as bills must be paid, groceries bought, laundry done, dinner cooked, dishes washed and diapers changed. But you also learn a great deal about being patient, loving and self-sacrificing. Studying Torah is spiritual. Comforting a sick child in the middle of the night, done with a loving heart and a passion for God, is spiritual as well.
If we are talking about the physical side of marriage, Judaism takes an approach which is, in my opinion, healthy and balanced. Desires are not supposed to be stifled, but channeled in the right direction: a holy marriage. There is no such thing as a "holier" vocation; marriage is sacred, and no man is "too good" or "too spiritual" to get married. An unmarried man is considered incomplete.
Furthermore, rabbis are supposed to set an example of godly marriages to the community, and to provide marital advice and counseling. Would I take advice on marriage from someone who is not married himself? Somehow, I think it would lack credibility. By the way, it would also be difficult for me to trust the advice of a man whose family life is crumbling, for example because his wife is about to crack under the triple strain of being the exclusive caretaker of the home, the children, and the family finances.
As a side note, throughout the course of history there were sects of Jews who practised celibacy, but they were marginal and didn't last.