Monday, June 25, 2012

"A Jewish blessing for the bridegrooms" - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper

My Commentary: This is so beautiful. He is so right on the point that the issue with homosexuality years ago is no longer valid. Be fruitful and multiply is no longer an issue, due to modern technology and the creation of gay marriage. It fulfills the "man shall not be alone."  Rich Dweck  

By Avraham Burg Jun.22, 2012 | 4:58 AM - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper  When MKs Anastassia Michaeli (Yisrael Beiteinu ) and Uri Ariel (National Union ) shared their opinions and viewpoints about the nature and fate of members of the gay community, I was busy elsewhere. I had the privilege, for the first time in my life, officiating at the marriage of a same-sex couple. They deliberately chose a ceremony that was totally gay and at the same time totally humane and Jewish.

When we heard the words of the Members of Knesset we thought that we should present an entirely different world view to the public. Let the public judge between the sacred and the profane, between light and darkness, and between us and them. Before the traditional marriage ceremony I gave the following blessing:

"When you turned to me I was very pleased with the invitation. I was moved and I felt proud. Not the pride of arrogance, God forbid, but the pride of the community. Because this is not only an invitation to attend the wedding of a beloved friend as a guest, but also an invitation to an inner journey into the depths of the soul and the realms of my, and our, Jewish identity. Especially in places where it encounters the human, universal values to which I am committed.
"We believe that there is room for a new freedom, for deepening human rights and expanding human liberties. Traditional holiness must also renew itself and include the sensitive men and women and the sensitivities that have come here to celebrate with us today.
"What motivated our ancestors to forbid this unique love did not stem from fears and hatreds, but from a far more profound world view. Judaism, after all, is a civilization of life, of the sanctity of life. Fertility, giving birth, continuity and humaneness are the essence of the Jewish culture of life and sanctity of life. And because homosexuality at the time was sterile and unable to be fruitful and multiply, it was forbidden and condemned.
"But today, with our generation's achievements, everything has changed. Our new family is very broad. Gays and lesbians wish to and can be parents to wonderful children, equal to any other child. And when the excuse of sterility becomes void, the violent, panicky boycott against the gay community and its members must also become void.
"Love for people of the same sex is the sensitive love of a person who loves someone who is like him, literally. Isn't that another contemporary and current interpretation of "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself"? The love of someone who is like me is another practical dimension to the archive of human loves. That is the reason for equating "Thou shalt love thy neighbor" and "Thou shalt love the lord thy God." The same love, literally. Both of them with all your heart, both with all your soul, both with all your might. Because there is a God who is a member of the same gender as I, and I am created in His or Her image.
"These moments of ours together under the wedding canopy are a reflection and an echo of the truth and the peace of the couple, the bridegrooms, who are entering the marriage covenant today. I am not marrying them; they are marrying each other, and everything we are saying today is theirs and belongs to them.
"The structure of our wedding today is taken from tradition, while the content and style are taken from other worlds as well. On the one hand, we are going back in time to the days of spontaneous joy, to times when it was not yet bound by obligatory formulas; when the contents were words of truth that come from the heart and are understood by everyone. And on the other hand, everything is directed forward toward a better world. A world in which the ancient symbols will acquire a meaning of commitment that these dear and wonderful people are taking upon themselves, to create a better humanity.
"At this moment I am permitting myself to share a prayer with you. I pray for a day when more people, when everyone, will think about the content of their lives like the couple who are celebrating. A day in which all new homes reflect this wonderful love, this mutual commitment, this respect for the other, as well as this embracing of the essential, rather than the marginal.
And I also pray that each and every one of you, guests and family members, will know how to take something of the huge gift that we are all receiving today. The couple's gift to tikkun olam, repairing the world."
And we all offered a blessing: "Let the loving couple be very happy, just as You made Your creation happy in the garden of Eden, so long ago. You are blessed, Lord, who makes the bridegroom and the bridegroom happy."

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