Mishpachah (family). K’dushah (holiness). Ahavah (love).
These elements comprise the essence of every life event, both joyous celebrations and times of sorrow. They are the ingredients of our most treasured relationships; they lie at the foundation of any community.
Family, holiness, and love were present in large measure in my son Adam's birth ceremony, consecration, bar mitzvah, and confirmation, and even in his graduations from elementary school, middle school, high school, and college.
All of the same elements were present when Adam got married this year, too...Read More
As the much-anticipated oral argument approaches in the marriage equality cases coming out of the Sixth Circuit Court before the Supreme Court, the fight for marriage equality within states wages on.
On January 23, Federal District Court Judge Callie V. S. Granade ruled that that Alabama’s ban on marriage equality was unconstitutional. Yet, in the weeks following the court ruling, many counties refused to offer marriage licenses to same-sex couples following a February 8 order by the chief justice of the Alabama State Supreme Court, Roy S. Moore who stated that state court probate...Read More
I was born into a Catholic family and given a Catholic education, but for as long as I can remember, Judaism has always fascinated me. There was just something so familiar about it. Whenever I attended the b’nai mitzvah and weddings of my Jewish friends, I felt a strong connection to their traditions – as if I belonged. My ancestors are from Portugal, Spain, and Italy, and sometimes I wonder whether they were forced to convert during the Inquisition. I don’t know, but what I do know is that I feel Jewish in my heart and soul.
In adulthood – many years after my divorce, as my kids...Read More
How did your parents meet?
As a religious school teacher at a Reform Jewish synagogue, each year I ask my sixth-grade students to think about their parents, or any two people they know who are happily married. How did those people become a couple?
Over the years, I've heard wonderful stories about blind dates and pool parties, about fender-benders that led to dinner and people who were expected fall for one person and ended up with someone entirely different. But my favorite story came from a boy whose parents – I'll call them Jackie and Scott – met while they were each...Read More
I was not at my son's official wedding. Ariel and his wife got married in Cyprus. They made this choice not because of the country's wonderful sights and romantic scenery, but because they wanted to be able to marry outside of the framework of Israel's ultra-Orthodox Chief Rabbinate.
The Chief Rabbinate holds a monopoly on all Jewish marriages in Israel. There is no civil marriage, which leaves an Orthodox marriage as the only option for Jewish couples in Israel. This means that the ceremony is often performed by a rabbi who does not know the couple personally. It means stringent...Read More
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