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In 2015, same-sex marriage became legal across the US. Changing “bride” and “groom” to “spouse” on licenses was all it took to put marriage equality into effect. But Jewish marriage ritual is trickier; its words are based on concepts of acquisition – in ways not well suited to same-sex or any egalitarian couples.
In Reb Irwin’s Senior Teshuvah submitted to the ALEPH Ordination Program, he explores the possibility of uprooting the Jewish wedding language entirely and introducing the words of Ruth’s vow to Naomi: “Where you go, I will go…” He argues for the deep Jewish resonance and legal heft of the words, and points to the symbolic richness of the Ruth/Naomi story for queer couples. Learn more here.
Join Reb Irwin for this workshop laying out the difficulties of the traditional language, surveying the mixed record of the American Jewish denominations trying to work around it, and exploring the empowering language of the Book of Ruth.
About Rabbi Irwin Keller
Rabbi Irwin Keller has served Congregation Ner Shalom in Sonoma County, CA since 2008. He is a founder and steward of the Taproot Program, supporting activists and artists to be community ritualists. He is an LGBTQ rights activist, and authored Chicago’s first gay rights law, in effect since 1989.
He is also a founder of the Kinsey Sicks, America’s Favorite Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet, but hung up his heels in 2014 to work for his ordination through ALEPH Alliance for Jewish Renewal. He blogs at irwinkeller.com. You would probably enjoy this video too.
This event if free, however we encourage you to consider a donation to Congregation Sha’ar Zahav. Suggested donation: $5 – 20.
Presented by Congregation Sha’ar Zahav of San Francisco!