Not only was it a Gay wedding but a [mostly] Jewish one too. And funky! The rabbi sported dreadlocks, and most of the wedding party, including moi, wore Converse sneakers, green and pink being the main colours of choice: mine being bright green. To mottlicize the crew even further so to speak, there were two people of African birth present: one black and one white. Another unique feature was the venue: very rural, complete with rustic buildings, far far far from the madding crowd.
While it was the most unique wedding that I have ever attended and surely ever will attend, it was perhaps the most magical and delightful one as well. The Jewish-style ceremony under a chuppah (canopy) which itself stood under the shade of a willow tree by the
Every word and deed was weighed and considered, even the chuppah on which was written words and wishes from many close friends. This extraordinarily meaningful ceremony included the traditional (in Jewish weddings) seven blessings. The rabbi gave the first two and the last two blessings; in between Cuppa, I and the other bride's mother were given the opportunity to say one. Mine was quite the task as the girls asked me to pronounce the blessing in both Hebrew and English. I certainly could have done much better with the Hebrew part of it, but everyone had kind words for my attempt regardless. Somehow saying "Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheynu Melech ha-olam, yotzer ha-adam," with the proper Hebrew inflections proved not to be all that easy for this poor decrepit brain. Those words can be translated several ways, but this was the English equivalent that I was also asked to speak: "Ineffable Breath of Life, giving life to each human being."
I have been thinking over this past week and a bit of how meaningful the ceremony was. With few exceptions, we straight folk all get married, and while we all have greatly appreciated our fine ceremonies, there is a certain expectation and familiarity to the proceedings that we might be tempted to take at least somewhat for granted. But when the girls, with the help of their rabbi, had to pull together a Gay and Jewish ceremony with the occasional Christian thread, they truly had to think it through from the beginning to end. As a result, they composed something both beautiful and incredibly meaningful to both them and the witnesses. Somehow this non-standard union (so far) seemed to make everyone stop and think and perhaps appreciate it all a little bit more.
While I had never thought to be a thrilled participant at a Gay-Jewish-Country wedding, that’s what I was. How I have changed and how life has changed me! While I was once a sincere but naïve young man with all of the relevant answers about earth and heaven (or so I thought), I now admit to knowing little. But I go with the flow a lot better now and have learned to be much less judgemental and much more inclusive. And so I revelled in the beauty and wonder of this union between two loving young people, and I laughed and cried … and sang and danced.