Saturday, July 7, 2007
Spirituality Oy! The Wedding cont.
Sally to the left, then me, then the Rabbi Lippmann, then Sue-my beloved, then my cousin Janet, my Aunt Julie
When last we met, the rabbi Sharon said no to marriage between jews and "non-jews."
Sue and I had a date. We had a plan, sort of, but we had no officiant. this was very important to my beloved, to have a rabbi-a rabbi who was familiar to her, one she trusted to know her and her partner, to know her beliefs and to properly bless her union, to officiate at her wedding. Did I mention that the synagogue, the same one who's rabbi refused to marry us? They were happy to rent us their shul for the farbotn wedding. And I say her because this was primarily Sue's show. I never was the little girl who played wedding, (I was busy playing doctor.) I never particularly thought about what is repeatedly called the "happiest day of a woman's life." When I suddenly wanted to get married, it came as a surprise to me, and as I said, at the time, I was not particularly religious and I wanted to elope to Canada where I could be legally married and that's what I wanted. A piece of paper saying that we were married in the eyes of the living (and legal) world. Later we could have a big party and be celebrated -and recognized-by all of our friends as married. This would legitimize us in the spiritual sense. In the eyes of our friends and family.
So, the mad rush to find a lesbian rabbi-this was important and not so easy. We asked friends. We called the other rabbis that attended CBST. They all answered NO! The friends finally came through with a lovely woman, Ellen Lippman, who has a small shul in Brooklyn. We arranged to meet in a muffin cafe in Brooklyn. For me it was warmth at first sight. She was everything that Sharon was not. A good listener, empathic, warm, understanding, sympathetic, and once she understood that we would agree to her stipulations which had to do with keeping to keeping a Jewish home-which we were already doing-we were fine. We agreed to have several more counseling and planning sessions. I looked forward to every one and would have liked to have crawled into her lap during several of them when things got hectic, because she always seemed to make things seem calmer, our wedding was planned.
It was a lovely wedding. My Aunt Julie-85, I think, at the time, and ill, traveled from Ohio to walk me down the aisle. My godchild came from Turkey. Sue's family was WELL represented with cousins, brother and sister in law and niece and nephew. We had about 100-150 people-I can't remember as the group kept growing. We had students from Julliard to provide the music and the Huppah, which Sue made, was beautiful. The day was magical, truly. (to be continued.)