What a weekend: New York City Wedding and Pennsylvania Baby Naming

What a weekend!  I married two amazing men yesterday in a dignified and personalized ceremony in New York City at an exquisite hotel.   It was a small wedding with a sit down luncheon for their close family and friends.  Elegant doesn’t even begin to describe it.  We spent many face time phone calls over the past many months putting together a wedding ceremony that was meaningful for them both.  It included using a bar mitzvah tallit for me to wrap around them (and then bless them); a family kiddish cup for the blessing over the wine; and a beautiful niece who brought the rings to me (the rabbi) when I needed them.  Family members read the seven wedding blessings. Another special and personal moment.  After the ceremony they were toasted by family members.

Then there was today….I went to Pennsylvania to welcome three beautiful girls of one family into the covenant of the Jewish people at a b’rit shalom or baby naming ceremony.  Three little girls from Sarah’s two sons and daughters-in-law.  Interfaith families where everyone respects and loves one another.  I prepared a booklet explaining their Hebrew names and who they are named for and led a meaningful baby naming service.  There were four generations there: the girls; their mothers; their grandmothers; and their great grandmothers.  One great grandmother was from Cuba and her story was meaningful.  This family’s minhag, custom, is to name for the living. So some of the girls were named for living grandparents in the hope that they will grow to be strong, intelligent, compassionate women like their grandmothers and great grandmothers.  May this be God’s will.

What a beautiful weekend to be a Rabbi for these loving families.