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Thursday, 10 April 2008

Pluralistic Rabbis

Pluralistic rabbis: In same-sex wedding, both can break glass
By MATTHEW WAGNER
In a solution to a decidedly postmodern Jewish dilemma, a group of
pluralistic, secular rabbis ruled this week that when standing under the
huppa in a same-sex marriage ceremony, both partners can be given the
honor of "breaking the glass."
"The breaking of the glass, a staple of every Jewish wedding, is used to
remember the egregious hatred that led to the destruction of the Second
Temple," said Ofer Korenfeld, chairman of Havayah, an organization that
arranges "Jewish-inspired" lifecycle events.
"This message is particularly pertinent to the homo-lesbian community,
which is the target of so much hatred," added Kornfeld.
Havayah's announcement came one day after the Interior Ministry agreed
to register two men as the fathers of an adopted baby boy in accordance
with a Ramat Gan Family Court ruling.
In Israel, all Jewish citizens must marry in accordance with Orthodox
Jewish law. As a result, same-sex marriages are not recognized by the
state. However, the state does recognize the commitment between same-sex
couples for adoption purposes.
Havayah belongs to a growing movement in Israel known informally as
Jewish Renewal, which encourages secular Israelis not to give up their
ties to Jewish culture, pushing yiddishkeit without God.
There are about 30 Jewish Renewal communities throughout the nation
where secular Jews meet in alternative prayer groups, study religious
texts and celebrate Jewish ceremonies without abandoning their secular
self-definition.
Havayah, was created by the Midrasha at Oranim Teachers College in
Kiryat Tivon; the kibbutz movement's Bina Center for Jewish Identity and
Hebrew Culture in south Tel Aviv, known as the "Secular Yeshiva"; and
the Institute for Jewish Ceremonies. The program's focus is on
celebrating, in a Jewish way, events such as births, bar and bat mitzvot
and marriages.

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