Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Spirituality, Oy (continued)
I distanced myself from CBST-the synagogue my partner attends for several years after the marriage incident, attending only special occasions and retreats. At the retreats, I would stay in the background except when I had a chance to get one of the rabbi's aside. Then I would comment that we had met with a group after our wedding to see how the shul could better accomodate mixed religion couples, then there was no follow up.
This past year, I got a phone call from the president of the board asking me to help organize a class in the Lehrhaus (adult education) with a rabbinic intern, to address this issue. Although the idea of charging for this organizing effort rankled, I went along with it, along the way enlisting another active member of the shul who also happens to be a member of another faith. We met a number of times and hammered out the 'class.' We passed out 150 flyers at services at CBST, 7 at Saint Francis Xavier Lesbian Group and managed to get the required 6, 4 from CBST (including our partners) 2 from SFX and us. The group was useful, but discouraging in it's size. We had no committment to carry on after the end (which I was hopeing for.
The retreat was coming up and I was feeling that there was some momentum started, so I called the retreat organizer. She was enthusiastic and scheduled us for Friday night at 10:45 (way past my bedtime!)
Friday night came and we had a large group, about 15 people. They started telling wrenching stories about being refused marriage-similar to ours. They made us feel that we were not alone in the shul. If there were this many in a retreat of about 60 people, how many else could there be? Suddenly, the head rabbi, Sharon showed up and her presence really quelled any active discussion. She announced that she had come to a place where she could do a mixed marriage in the Jewish style. While people were happy, I felt that this was not the time or place for this discussion and she took attention away from the process we had going on and moved it to her agenda (to be continued)