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January 27, 1990 - Image 80

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-01-27

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80 Brides 1990

not violate halacha. Some rabbis favor
a double-ring ceremony because it
emphasizes that the couple is mutual-
ly exchanging their commitment to
one another.
Another point of departure is in the
words recited by the bride and groom
during the ring ceremony. Traditional-
ly, with a one-ring ceremony, only the
groom had a recitation. Now, with the
advent of a double-ring exchange, the
bride, in most cases, says the same
This practice does not sit well with
the more traditional. "There is no way
we can mirror what a man and woman
do in a ceremony," explains the Or-
thodox rabbi, who believes that each
partner has his or her own expression
of commitment. "A true expression of
equality is the recognition that the
male and female roles are equal and
yet distinct:'
Also grounded in ancient theory is
the stipulation that the ring be sim-
ple so that its value is readily known.
However, according to a Reform
rabbi, the ring symbolizes the union
and not any sort of transaction. "I
don't care about the stones in the ring;'
he says, "because the value of the ring
has no bearing on the worth of the
The reading of the ketubah, in its
original language, beneath the chup-
pah has always been a part of the tradi-
tional service. The fact that most
couples do not understand the words
is not as important as the symbolic
gesture. Some rabbis prefer to read a
ketubah with an English paraphrase
to at least capture the spirit intended.
Music selection is usually a personal
preference. Some congregations allow
the couples to choose their own music
without any stipulations.
Within Judaic custom, it is possible
to retain most of the rituals and am-
bience of a traditional Jewish wedding
without steeping oneself in the mo-
tions and verbiage of ancient times
that have little meaning to many today.
Indeed, the genius of Jewish tradi-
tion is just how adaptive it is; we don't
have to jettison tradition, but can find
new meaning in old ways. II

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