In this weeks Torah portion we read about moving from slavery towards redemption. There’s no promise that the road ahead will be easy, untroubled, or certain. What we do know, as the readers, is that remaining in servitude is no longer possible.
Some context from Torah to the world that I’m in: Here in New York we have had our first snowstorm. The hospitals are filled to capacity with Covid cases. It’s the first anniversary of the Capitol riot. Many relationships that were solid have shattered.
And yet: it’s nearly Tu Beshavat when the first buds will appear on the almond trees. There is collaboration and friendship in the world of music, theater and literature. I’ve just officiated at a glorious Interfaith wedding. Both families lit a unity candle and sincerely embraced each other. Babies are being treated, and born and the sun continues to rise. The light is there. My work, our work, is to position our chairs and our eyes to embrace that light.
As we leave slavery, that walk won’t be easy. Our backs are covered even as we feel that pebble of doubt, rolling around in our shoes.
Before the public ceremony we signed the Ketubbah.This centuries old tradition, held before the public wedding ceremony, link the couple deeply to each other.
Mazal Tov and many blessings!
I had the honor of officiating at this wedding of great joy and Love. There were many of us present to witness a ceremony that was overflowing with beauty, sincerity and an abundance of deep caring.
Surrounded by loving family members and many happy friends the brides could not stop beaming with joy. It was a deep and meaningful ceremony here in New York City. Congratulations!!
Friends and family gathered to attend this beautiful and very happy celebration.I welcomed the guests who came from near and far. The bride and groom exchanged heartfelt vows. In keeping with my view of equalitarian wedding rituals, both the bride and groom broke the glass, at the end of the ceremony. We had a very loud and joyous “ Mazal Tov.”
It’s been nearly a week of Matzo, Matzo meal and Matzo Brei. There are recipes everywhere that I turn. It’s Pesach and soon enough I’ll be back to having bread and pizza. What is it about Matzo that is so compelling to me? Is it the bread of affliction? Is it a reminder of those harsh times thousands of years ago. Or it it the bread of liberation? The food that we ate as we traveled on our journey to liberation. Rabbi Roly and Rabbi Becka Of Bnai Jeshurun, my NYC Synagogue talked about the Matzo as a symbol linking both ends of the spectrum: bondage and freedom. Yes, it’s almost time to leave them behind. Nevertheless in this time of Covid, those matzoth are more relevant than ever.
a symbol of both ends of the spectrum
This was my first zoom wedding…we were connected in Michigan, Colorado, New York and Brussels. The joyous bride and handsome groom exchanged their vows, placed the rings on each others’ fingers, signed their wedding license and the parents gave their toasts and their deep blessings.
We go from event to event..from person to person..situation to situation. We need to pause and reflect and really notice: have I created something new today…have I moved into a new phase of my life today….have I taken on a new spiritual practice today. When we create a ritual to bookmark time we have a way to remember the paradigm shift. We have a way to look back and say to ourselves “ good job…maybe not easy.. it I did it.” Think about a ritual that you can offer yourself to mark and to honor this shift.