I am home with covid and thinking about all the life cycle events in your lives that I get to be part of: weddings; baby naming; funerals; memorial services; and unveilings. A rabbi has many roles and sometimes I am the person you just want to talk to about your concerns.
A mom who recently called me. Her Jewish son is getting married in an interfaith ceremony but it will be in a Church. She wanted to know if I would participate. She wasn’t sure her son would allow her to influence the ceremony. She was clearly sad and I suspect her son doesn’t realize how disrespected and sad she feels. That’s hard for a Rabbi because I can’t do anything as an independent Rabbi to influence her son or prospective daughter-in-law. But I worry. When one person doesn’t have their faith traditions represented, I get concerned.
I do Jewish and interfaith weddings and ceremonies all the time. People often start with “I’m not too Jewish” or one of my parents is or things like. We are a big tent. Jewish is Jewish. All are welcome.
I love bringing Jewish traditions to my Jewish and interfaith weddings. The wedding is not religious but there are beautiful wedding customs.
Although the day is about the two of you, remember to honor your past and your heritage and that your parents’ history with Judaism, sometimes with their parents and the holocaust, influences their feelings. Be respectful. Be kind. There are usually ways to make everyone happy.
That’s my goal – happy bride and happy groom at a Jewish or interfaith ceremony of any kind.