Tag : Jewish Weddings

The Lilith Blog

July 9, 2018 by

Four Things Rabbis Should Stop Saying at Weddings

Here we are, in the grip of another Wedding Season. Perhaps you’re a perpetual bridesmaid, or the one getting married, or you’re not particularly into marriage as a life choice for yourself.

Maybe you’re going to a wedding every weekend until the end of time (or Labor Day). As we descend further into the madness of tulle, plus-ones, and open bars, let’s review some things you’re basically guaranteed to find at Jewish weddings: aggressive dancing (ask me about incurring my stiletto related injury), which usually involves the couple being hoisted into the air on chairs while they pretend not to be afraid of falling, people shouting “Mazel Tov!,” and of course, a rabbi.

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April 12, 2018 by

Three Weddings and a Statement

Three couples unable to marry in Israel celebrated their Jewish weddings at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan Sunday, December 3.

Because of the stranglehold the Orthodox rabbinate has over personal status—marriage, conversion to Judaism and divorce, for example—an Israeli Jew whose conversion to Judaism was not according to Orthodox standards can’t have a Jewish ceremony in Israel. Neither can a lesbian couple. Nor can an egalitarian-minded heterosexual couple who want to avoid the “man buys his wife” construct of the Orthodox ketuba, or marriage contract.

So, the rabbis at the Reform Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan joined with the Israel Religious Action Center of the Reform movement (the same people you may have seen getting arrested as they try to make Western Wall prayer services more inclusive) to create a Jewish wedding ceremony for three couples, each of whom falls into one of the “forbidden” categories.

The event, which included as officiants Reform and Conservative rabbis, was advertised as “Three Weddings  & a Statement” and drew about  1500 “guests.” As one of the rabbis present said to those watching from the pews, “You have to be partisans, not [just] witnesses.”

After the six glasses were stomped on and broken by each of the marriage partners (not just by the groom, as is traditional), all the rabbis in the sanctuary—including Modern Orthodox rabbis—were invited up to bless the couples.

Three simultaneous weddings

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