Egalitarian Bedeken

a blessing of two people under a tallit
In an egalitarian bedeken, the bride and groom are separated from one another by a Tallit.
[They are seated facing away from one another. Parents extend the tallit perpendicularly. Each parent holds one corner of the tallit.]
Spoken to the couple: The tallit has four corners. Our tradition embraces four ancient elements/ essences of earth, air, water and fire. Three of these essences will change over time: the earthly, unsteady water and air, just vapor. Your parents will attest to the changes time can bring. But there is that fire within you, that spark which never changes, your essence. I invite you to picture that essence within yourself.
Now think back to that first real look at your beloved, that first time you really looked.
Think of their eyes, their smile, how it smelled and sounded.
Try to picture the flame, that spark in the other.
Like the elements, the tallit has four corners, and for sets of fringes, with 613 knots representing Divine connections.
One of them has been undone.
As you rise to see one another afresh, I will place fringes in your fingers.
When you pull them, you will re-tie that connection. At the same time, the tallit will be lowered, representing the removing of obstacles, so that you can deeply see your beloved.
I then invite you to look into one another’s eyes for 30 seconds.
[As the couple looks at each other, instruct each parent to give a brief blessing to their child when the gazing time is up. After the parental blessing, all can line up for the processional]


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