Worth A Post of Its Own- Jewish Weddings

A post that ran last week called Robbing The Bride and Groom has provided a lot of food for thought and a reasonable discussion about a topic that could easily degenerate into name calling. The following comment by Kol Raash Gadol made a big noise and got my attention. I thought that it was worth highlighting.

Bringing comfort to the parents for the wedding? Do you think that dual clergy will do that? Or will it just make each side equally unhappy?

As I mentioned, it’s not possible to do a jewish wedding if one of the partners aren’t Jewish; any rabbi who says it is, is acting in ignorance – or lying. Jewish weddings are a contractual arrangement between two Jews according to the laws of Moses and Israel.

If one of the parties is not subject to the laws of Moses and Israel, then how can the marriage contract be effected? It can’t.

There’s nothing wrong with people who aren’t Jewish. They’re just as lovable as anyone else, just as lovely and noble, and kind and smart -that’s why it’s the dating stage where one has to be careful about who one is with. By the time you fall in love it’s too late.

If it matters enough to someone to be Jewish, to have a rabbi at the wedding, then it should matter enough to have a Jewish home. To have a Jewish home, it’s very verydifficult if one partner isn’t Jewish. The study that came out last year reconfirmed what we already knew anecdotally: how Jewish you are depends almost entirely on who you have around you. If you want your kids to be Jewish, it’s important to have a jewish spouse and for them -and you- to have a Jewish friends and a community.

The rabbis were no fools; they were right about the necessity of a minyan.

BY having dual clergy, you aren’t making people feel better, you’re lying to both the people who are being married by saying that there isn’t really any difference between one marriage ceremony and another.

IMO, if you can’t decide it would be wise to put off the ceremony until someone picks, or have a civil ceremony, which is essentially the idea underlying dual clergy; that the marriage is a civil act, and not a religious one.

I know this sounds harsh, but I understand Judaism to be something that the world needs to continue, that we have a mission, and that that mission cannot be fulfilled if we disappear, and I also believe that it’s evil to lie to people and give them to understand that it doesn’t make a difference.

I don’t think that people who are intermarried are evil – in fact, if one doesn’t commit to the idea that Judaism matters, than I agree that it’s foolish to insist on not marrying out. If you don’t think Judaism matters, staying a Jew out of nostalgia or some misplaced guilt over Hitler is a waste of time, but then I don’t think that one should want a rabbi there. And I do think it’s a darn shame for any children who might come along later, as they often do.

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3 Comments

  1. Miriam L September 26, 2007 at 12:54 pm

    To each their own. I know some intermarried couples who ended up being Jewish couples. It took some time, but the non-Jewish spouse converted and the children are Jewish, Torah educated, and Zionist all the way. Some of those kids are very, very close to me. And they are Jews with all their heart. And their grandparents shep nachas.

    Hashem may have plans for continuing the Jewish people that He hasn’t divulged to Rabbinic authorities. (I’m in trouble now, right?)

  2. Mark September 25, 2007 at 11:57 am

    Oh, and by the way,

    “Do you think that dual clergy will do that?”

    Yes I think it will in some cases. “

    “Or will it just make each side equally unhappy?”

    Yes it could in some cases. There ain’t no9 certainties ion life, Kol.

    And I’ll make one last point:

    If Jews weren’t accepting of the right of others to practice faiths other than Judaism, we’d be on the same fucked up proselytizing train to hell that Christians have been riding for over two thousand years.

  3. Mark September 25, 2007 at 11:52 am

    I think Kol’s comment indicates a lack of tolerance for other faiths. My two cents. We aren’t all Jewish, and Judaism espouses tolerance of other faiths. At least that’s the way I raised.

    If you want your marriage to be exclusive, that’s fine. What right do you (or anyone else) have to tell others that a dual clergy wedding just isn’t done?

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