Jewish Book: Saving Myself, a Los Angeles Childhood
Buy a signed copy of the book!
a signed
copy of the
Get a 17 page
excerpt when you
join our mailing list!

Follow me on
Follow Jeanne Simonoff on TwitterFollow Jeanne Simonoff on Facebook
A Jewish Childhood - Nine Weddings in Two Days - Equality on One Level Part 2
Tuesday, 24 September 2013 21:49

For the ninth wedding, that happened the Monday after at my synagogue, Temple Beth
Shalom as two women I knew got married with Rabbi Marvin Schwab, our Rabbi, officiating.

They were married under a chuppah, 4 poles with a tallit stretched over it, indicating a new residence, a holy place under which the two nervous women were to take their vows.

I was honored to sign their Ketubah, a Jewish ritual marriage certificate.

The rabbi had asked both of the women to answer six questions. They filled them out with answers from their hearts, of their own free will, which was a central theme in this reform Jewish wedding ceremony, the Rabbi taking great care to make sure that neither was under duress or coerced to join as a married couple, and I, in that moment, again flashed to chattel, arranged marriages, women mostly to men, being sold into the marriage plot.

With the rings, each was asked to place it on their index fingers, and after saying her vows, to place the ring on her own ring finger freely, and because she wanted to.

I went to another wedding of two women at my synagogue in 2004 and instead of this latest one, an intimate group of thirteen, these other two women had gotten married in Sandoval County in the brief window when 74 wedding licenses were issued.

And before God and a synagogue full of family and friends, they too, took their vows under the chuppah. I combined their two names into one which I will not reveal here because I am aware that it all seems so magical that this has again happened, and it is personal, the issuing of licenses. Now the IRS says that they may file as spouses even i it is not recognized in one's particular state. I am a doubter, a survivor who knows that my life and freedom could be taken at any time. I fight to see that no one forgets that.

I must admit that these past weeks have seemed like there is magic in the world and love and kindness and it is to this that I now bear witness. And as always, I thank you for reading a Jewish Childhood Blog.