Couples across the country are infusing their Jewish wedding with creative new rituals. Consider these three examples:
1. Ron and Dr. Joellyn Zollman of Congregation Beth Lit. ''the one who struggles with God.'' Israel means many things. It is first used with reference to Jacob, whose name is changed to Israel (Genesis 32:29), the one who struggles with God. Jacob's children, the Jewish people, become B'nai Israel, the children of Israel. The name also refers to the land of Israel and the State of Israel. in San Diego wanted both sides of their family to connect to one another, so they asked their mothers—one in Pennsylvania and one in California—to embroider pieces of matching fabric that would be combined to form their wedding canopy. A few days before the wedding, the two mothers worked together to stitch together their handcrafted Marriage canopy symbolizing the couple's new home..
2. For Dr. Joshua Cooper and his fiancée Heather Stoneberg-Henry of Temple Shaaray Lit. Prayer in New York City, it was important to have a wedding “that reflected my desire to convert—and also involve our loved ones,” says Heather. A graduate student pursuing a degree in creative writing, Heather wrote a two-act, seven-scene play based on the biblical conversion story in the Book of An important female biblical character with her own book. The Book of Ruth, read on Shavuot, tells the story of Ruth’s devotion to her mother-in-law, Naomi, and their return to Israel. Ruth’s story is often read as the first story of conversion. Ruth is the grandmother of King David.. The play itself was the ceremony: it featured the appropriate blessings; roles and costumes for Josh and Heather’s friends and family; and finally, in the play’s last scene, the exchange of vows. “Between scenes, my father, who used to sing professionally, chanted the entire Book of Ruth,” says Josh. “It not only gave my father a crucial role in my wedding, but it gave Heather’s family the chance to hear Hebrew for the very first time.”
3. And as part of their wedding celebration, Rabbi Yohanna Kinberg, assistant rabbi of Temple B’nai The Five Books of Moses, and the foundation of all of Jewish life and lore. The Torah is considered the heart and soul of the Jewish people, and study of the Torah is a high mitzvah. The Torah itself a scroll that is hand lettered on parchment, elaborately dressed and decorated, and stored in a decorative ark. It is chanted aloud on Mondays, Thursdays, and Shabbat, according to a yearly cycle. Sometimes "Torah" is used as a colloquial term for Jewish learning and narrative in general. in Bellevue, Washington, and Rabbi Seth Goldstein honored Yohanna’s father, Rabbi Myron Kinberg, z”l, who had worked passionately for social justice, by distributing homemade Charity. In Hebrew, the word tzedakah derives from the word for justice. Tzedakah is not seen as emanating from the kindness of one’s heart but, rather, as a communal obligation. boxes (plain aluminum children’s banks decorated with printed labels) as party favors and asking each guest to use them to collect funds for their favorite charity. “It was wonderful to see the tzedakah boxes displayed when we went to visit friends and family,” Yohanna says. Since then, she says, many friends who attended the wedding have adopted the custom, creating tzedakah boxes for their own wedding guests.