Why Do We Need a Ketubah?
New Year, ReNew Vows
If we are a non-religious interfaith couple, why do we need a Ketubah?
“I am not Jewish but my husband to be is. He is not a practicing Jew, however. A rabbi is performing the wedding to make his parents happy. So with that in mind, why would a Ketubah be beneficial to us in our marriage?”
LAUGHTER IS THE BODY’S RESPONSE TO A THOUGHT
What a wonderful experience! Michael called me a couple weeks ago and wanted to have a private time with his wife who he married a year ago. They had a very difficult first year of marriage. Besides adjusting to marriage, there were several unusual events that created stress in their relationship.
A Picture is worth a 1000 words. But, carefully selected words speaks louder yet.
When speaking to many couples about their wedding ceremony, laughter always comes up in our meetings. Some couples want to laugh throughout their ceremony while others feel that laughter is a sacrilege. Fortunately, there is a balance. Important to understand is not whether the wedding nuptials are serious, joyous or even down right funny, but rather why do we laugh and is it appropriate in this setting?
JUDAISM, BUDDHISM AND SCIENCE
Explaining to couples that in a wedding ceremony; there are four containers of energy. The first is the Ketubah. Typically as Jews, we think of a Ketubah containing, religious and legal aspects that relates to the commandments. There is another dimension to this tradition that can contain much life and connection to one another. I call the Ketubah, a “Container of Energy”. The more personable the Ketubah is to the individual couple, the more of their energies will be contained in it.
THE PATH TO LIFE ABUNDANT, THE SHEHEHEYANU
Alan Dressler, Author of Voyage to the Great Attractor. Along with other top scientist, began the project of mapping the Universe, as we know it today because of the Hubble Telescope. Alan is also on the team that is building the world’s largest telescope, which will take astronomy to the next level.
POWERFUL WEDDING SYMBOLS
Have you ever noticed how many Jewish prayers begin with gratitude? “Blessed are you…” is praise for all the good and loving and true there is in our lives. In a wedding ceremony, the prayer, the Sheheheyanu is most always recited. What a powerful way to begin the sharing of your commitments together with this ancient tradition.
A NEW TAKE ON WINE IN A BOX
Symbolism throughout all time has played an important part of what holds a society, religion or belief system together. These are signs, markings, and visual metaphors without words that stimulate and define the history of a people. We see symbols every day as we navigate our movements by them. They tell us to go, stop, yield; we identify the brands we buy with the symbol or logo of that product. Symbols tell that this parking spot is reserved for the disabled. We know which rest room to enter because of the Universal Symbol on the door. They are vital for every society to live together in what is the hope of harmony.
SMARTPHONES AND CAMERAS ARE A DISTRACTION
Recently, I have been asked to share a relatively new tradition to wedding ceremonies. This is especially beautiful for a Jewish or Interfaith ceremony. There is a Jewish tradition called the, “The Seven Blessings” The second century tradition has evolved over time to be a lovely inclusion into the wedding. These are seven different blessings for different aspects of the couple’s relationship and their connection to their traditions.
IN THE BEGINNING, THERE’S ATTRACTION
Smartphones and cameras are a distraction. Your guests are starring through their Smartphone or camera, they are not 100% present. I always make it a point at the beginning of every ceremony to have the couple turn and acknowledge their guests. Everyone loves to be acknowledged, and I always sense an invisible wall that separates the guests and wedding party begin to crumble, creating a more intimate space.
ABOUT YOUR VOWS
When their eyes met for the first time, something miraculous happened, just as it has since the first man and woman.
A connection that is almost beyond explanation creates a strong desire to be together. Poems and songs have been written about it. Immeasurable are the titles of books dedicated to it. It is a powerful emotion that is the nucleus of what moves us forward and keeps us grounded. It is what brings us together and what brings us life. What is this feeling that attraction invites us to experience? It is Love.
THE BLESSING OF THE HANDS
The promises you share with each other during your ceremony should only contain words which each of you identify with. These are promises of your commitment to each other. Vows are not a formal track every bride and groom repeats, thinking that there is something magic in the prescribed wording of the text. What will make your vows sacred is not the text but the intent. Vows are an outward expression of your promise to be with your partner no matter what.
Vows are not opportunities to express your feelings of love or how the other makes you a better person. These are important feelings and expressions of love, but they are not what should be included in your vows.
MAKE YOUR CHUPPAH YOUR HOME
This is perfect for bringing family to be part of the ceremony. I suggest that both Fathers read this responsibly just before the ring ceremony. It can be done by the rabbi or the Mothers, which makes the most sense to you.
BRIDE FORGETS THE RING
Home is the center of the couple’s life together. Having a symbol of the Home makes perfect sense in creating your wedding ceremony. Jewish or not, the Wedding Canapé is an icon that should be considered when crafting your ceremony. I don’t want couples to have a Chuppah because it is expected of by the Jewish partner or their parents expectations. I always encourage couples to think about what “Home” means to them and how they can personalize their Chuppah. This is what makes the Chuppah so powerful.
As the bride stepped up to the Chuppah with panic and tears in her eyes, she whispered to me, “I forgot the grooms wedding ring in the hotel room.” This train has left the station”, I thought and there is no turning back. Learning a long time ago to think on my feet, I waited for the wisdom of Solomon to solve the situation. I wish that it was my idea but by the swift thinking of the maid of honor, she slipped her wedding ring in the brides hand and no one knew the wiser. The ceremony was spectacular.