Teachings: Weddings & Commitment Ceremonies

Mikveh, Water and Higher Consciousness

Original file as published in Living Pulpit Magazine is attached as a PDF file for your convenience.

Guide to Jewish Wedding Spirituality

Spiritual and Egalitarian Customizing Options

Judaism don't have the rubric of "will you, Jane, take Randolph as your lawfully wedded husband, etc." A Jewish wedding is a decision to work on living with someone in a context of committed holiness. Those who desire more mutuality in your ritual than the patriarchal norm, might appreciate the following options:

Meditation to Calm and Center Leading Up to a Wedding

Say aloud:
"This breath,
fills me with calm."
(Take a deep breath, hold, release)

Say aloud:
"This breath,
fills me with peace."
(Take a deep breath, hold, release)

Say aloud:
"This breath,
pushes back all urgencies."
(Exhale, blow as though pushing things away)

Introduction to the Jewish Wedding

These are the elements present as part of the process for most Jewish weddings:

1. an ufruf, where the impending marriage is blessed up at the Torah during a Shabbat prior to the wedding. During their aliyah often the couple is pelted with candy, suggesting a blessing for a "sweet relationship".

2. the day before or morning of the wedding, a private immersion ritual readying of body and soul called mikveh,

3. signing of a ketubah, a Jewish wedding contract.

For Couples Only: How Judaism Can Help Your Intimate Relationship

We received a call from a leader of the Jewish community in Napa, California. "Could you come by to lead an evening for us? Something for couples, many are intermarried and trying we're integrate Judaism into our lives." What follows is a version of the worksheet we had emailed to them in preparation for the workshop.

Do Children Belong Under the Huppah?

Are there good alternatives?

Those who have children of their own, or in the family, and who are planning a Jewish wedding often wonder as to the wisdom of involving the children in the ritual. There are a number of considerations involved and every family is different. 

Guidelines for Setting a Date and Time for a Jewish Rite of Passage

Guidelines for Setting a Date and Time for a Jewish Rite of Passage

What Do Rites of Passage Accomplish?

What do Rites of Passage Accomplish? by Rabbi Goldie Milgram with Barry Bub

Rituals and their symbolic, action, and liturgical components facilitate lifecycle events or significant transitions by:

·     providing the framework of support for desired or necessary change

·     acting as speed bumps that invite reflection and integration

What Does Judaism Have to Say about Homosexuality, Jewish Same Sex-Marriages and Ordination?

The following question was asked during a recent survey. In developing the answer several principles of spirituality emerged for me, which may be interesting to you:

You are responsible for deciding on the ordination of persons, will you ordain someone who is gay or lesbian? Why, why not. Will you perform a marriage for two homosexuals? Why, why not.

I fully endorse and participate in the ordination and also the marriage of homosexual Jews. Continue to hear more about this from an institutional perspective, click here to view how I relate to the biblical texts in coming to my decision. In Living Jewish Life Cycle: How to Create Meaningful Jewish Rites of Passage I describe how to hold all Jewish ceremonies both traditionally and inclusively.