Thursday, July 6, 2017

Celebrating with Kallah and Kallah, Bride and Bride

Celebrating Bride and Bride
Every morning we read in the siddur "Eilu D'varim; these are the things we can do without measure” and one of them is to provide for the bride. This weekend I rejoiced with Bride and Bride and as a Jewish educator my heart was full to the brim from this wedding.  One bride, Becky has been a friend for over 25 years from Solomon Schechter Day School. I’ve known her since she was only 5 when she was in Kindergarten with my daughter. She also went to OSRUI and Deerfield High School her. Now many years later, since meeting her bashert Erin on JDate, they both live in Cleveland. As one grandma described them, they are most certainly a power couple. Becky is studying towards her PhD Biomedical Engineering and Erin is just completing her Residency as a Medical Doctor.


OSRUI Chevre
15 years ago this couple would have had a hard time finding a Rabbi or a Cantor to marry them and certainly not from the Conservative movement.  Reform clergy has sanctioned same sex marriages since 1996 and the Conservative clergy got on the bandwagon in 2006. And they were right to -- if anything, Becky and Erin are the model of an active and involved Jewish couple. Becky and Erin belong to an traditional independent minyan in Cleveland Heights, Beth-el, the Heights Synagogue.  

Shabbat morning we celebrated a traditional Auf Ruf with their community.  One bride read from the Torah and both of them had an aliyah. Many people participated in the service including their parents, siblings and one Grandmother gave a beautiful D'var Torah on Parshat HaShavua, Chukat. In this portion there is one short mention of the death of Miriam, Moses' sister and the d'var reminded us of the importance of women in not only Moses' life but in the Children of Israel's lives. Miriam and the midwives had saved Moses’ life when he was a baby and floating in the Nile and found water for all of the Children of Israel. Seeing Becky and Erin and their community at the minyan was just as rejuvenating to me as Miriam’s water.  

Erin's Kabbalat Panim
Becky's Tisch


Tisch
The wedding on Sunday afternoon started with a Kabbalat Panim and a Tisch. At the Kabbalat panim we welcomed Erin as a bride and at the Tisch we studied Torah with Becky. These pictures explain some of the traditional elements Becky and Erin carefully planned into their wedding.  
Kabbalat Panim
It was important to Becky and Erin to include many of the  traditional elements in their ceremony: writing their own Ketubah, circling by one of the brides seven times and breaking  the wedding glass at the end of the ceremony.


Together I know Becky and Erin will make the world  a better place to live and as Jews they will welcome everyone into their community. As I teach students of all ages and show pictures and tell stories of this wedding I hope that someone will be moved to either open their eyes or say "Hey, there's a couple just like me."


#itsaschurthing
#mybiggayjewishweddng