Rabbis Elliot Dorff, Daniel Nevins and Avram Reisner Sivan 5772 / Spring Dedicated in memory of Rabbi Simchah Roth, z l

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1 RITUALS AND DOCUMENTS OF MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE FOR SAME-SEX COUPLES by Rabbis Ellit Drff, Daniel Nevins and Avram Reisner Sivan 5772 / Spring 2012 Dedicated in memry f Rabbi Simchah Rth, z l This paper was apprved n May 31, 2012 by a vte f 15 in favr, nne ppsed and ne abstaining. Vting in favr: Rabbis David Hffman, Aarn Alexander, Miriam Berkwitz, Adam Kligfeld, Gail Labvitz, Jnathan Lubliner, Jeremy Kalmanfsky, Ellit Drff, Jane Kanarek, Pamela Barmash, Avram Reisner, Elie Kaplan Spitz, Susan Grssman, Daniel Nevins, and David Bth. Abstaining: Rabbi Amy Levin. Sectin I: Intrductin In ur respnsum, Hmsexuality, Human Dignity and Halakhah, which was adpted by a majrity vte f the CJLS n December 6, 2006, we wrte the fllwing abut the recgnitin f same-sex relatinships: We favr the establishment f cmmitted and lving relatinships fr gay and lesbian Jews. The celebratin f such a unin is apprpriate with blessings ver wine and sheheheyanu, with psalms and ther readings t be develped by lcal authrities.yet can these relatinships be recgnized under the rubric f kiddushin (Jewish marriage)? Des their disslutin require a ritual f gerushin (divrce)? What frmat and frce wuld such rituals require? These are cmplicated and cntrversial questins that deserve a separate study. We have n bjectin t infrmal rituals f celebratin fr gay cuples, including the elements mentined abve, but we are nt able in this respnsum t address the many halakhic questins surrunding gay marriage. Our paper des nt prvide fr rituals f kiddushin fr gay and lesbian cuples. We have been asked t prvide examples f ceremnies and dcuments f cmmitment and disslutin f same sex relatinships that cnfrm t ur paper s criteria, and we are pleased t d s here. 1 Having inquired amng rabbis frm varius pints n the cntemprary Jewish spectrum abut 1 We wish t thank ur clleagues n the CJLS and in the rabbinate fr their assistance in this prject. We als thank JTS rabbinical students Guy Austrian, Aarn Weininger, Alex Braver, Margaux Buck-Yael and Amichai Lau-Lavie fr their helpful cmments, which elicited substantial revisins and imprved ur wrk. 1

2 such ceremnies, we recgnize that there is a great variety available. We have incrprated materials frm sme f them, but thers d nt cnfrm t the criteria f ur wn respnsum. This paper will clarify the ratinale behind ur parameters fr such rituals and will prvide tw wedding ceremnies as well as dcuments fr marriage and divrce that are cmpatible with ur respnsum. The traditinal ceremny f kiddushin is said t be k dat Mshe v Yisrael, accrding t the laws f Mses and Israel. 2 We acknwledged in ur respnsum that same-sex intimate relatinships are cmprehensively banned by classical rabbinic law, yet ur teshuvah cited the ft-repeated halakhic principle, gadl k vd habrit shedheh l ta aseh shebatrah, Great is the demand f human dignity in that it supersedes a negative principle f Trah. 3 On this basis, and n the strng scientific evidence we cited that current discriminatry attitudes tward gay men and lesbians d indeed undermine their dignity, evidenced by their much higher rates f suicide, 4 we cncluded that fr bservant gay and lesbian Jews wh wuld therwise be cndemned t a life f celibacy r secrecy, their human dignity requires suspensin f the rabbinic level prhibitins s that they may experience intimacy and create families recgnized by the Jewish cmmunity. Fr this reasn we wrte in favr f the creatin f ceremnies f recgnitin f lving, exclusive, and cmmitted same-sex partnerships. We acknwledge that these partnerships are distinct frm thse discussed in the Talmud as accrding t the law f Mses and Israel, but we celebrate them with the same sense f hliness and jy as that expressed in hetersexual marriages. 5 Because this appendix substantially extends the cncepts f ur riginal respnsum in crafting ceremnies fr gay marriage and divrce, we have decided t bring it back t the CJLS fr discussin and vte s that it may benefit frm ur mvement s cllective rabbinic wisdm and authrity. Our mdel ceremnies are intended t give guidance t clleagues while still prviding rm fr rabbinic creativity in fficiating at these events. We wish t acknwledge the wrk f ur clleagues, Rabbis Simchah Rth z l, Jeremy Kalmanfsky and Grdn Tucker, wh have develped ceremnies and dcuments which served as utstanding precedents fr ur wn materials. 2 Tsefta, Ketubt 4:9; Yerushalmi, Ketubt 29a. 3 B. Berakht 19b; B. Shabbat 81b, 94b; B. Eruvin 41b; B. Megillah 3b; B. Menaht 37b. 4 Fr a summary f recent research n the rates f suicide rates amng LGBT teenagers in cmparisn t hetersexual teenagers, see Suicide Preventin Resurce Center, Suicide Risk and Preventin fr Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Yuth (Newtn, MA: Educatin Develpment Center, Inc., 2008), pp , (accessed May 21, 2012). All f the recent research supprts the riginal findings that suicides amng LGBT yuth are three t fur times the rate amng their hetersexual peers. 5 As rabbinic interpreters f halakhah, we believe that ur ruling is an authentic expressin f משה וישראל,דת the laws f Mses and Israel. That said, we realize that the mdel f ceremny that we here ffer is discntinuus with the mdel created by ur ancient rabbis, and that it is nt yet established and accepted by the majrity f rabbis in ur time. 2

3 One f ur first challenges was in establishing nmenclature fr these rituals. 6 Sme American states and freign cuntries have recgnized same-sex civil unins r dmestic partnerships but reserved the language f marriage fr hetersexual cuples. 7 Others have mved t full equalizatin f legal status and terminlgy fr gay cuples, but many states have refused all such recgnitin. Likewise amng rabbis, sme prefer t differentiate the terminlgy f gay partnerships frm traditinal marriage, while thers insist that gay cuples be given the same status and title as hetersexual cuples. Having cnsidered arguments in bth directins, we are cnvinced that the nmenclature f gay marriage and divrce shuld be equal and clearly stated as such, nt bscured in ambiguus language. Thus, even thugh the halakhic mechanism fr binding the cuple tgether is distinct frm the traditinal mdel f kiddushin, the result is still a Jewish marriage. The status f this relatinship in civil law will depend upn the jurisdictin within which the ceremny ccurs and the reciprcal recgnitin rules in the state where the cuple resides. Perfrmance f the Jewish wedding ceremny is nt t be cnsidered a civil marriage in thse jurisdictins which prhibit same-sex marriage. At the first CJLS reading f this appendix in Nvember 2011 it emerged that sme clleagues preferred that gay marriage ceremnies resemble the traditinal huppah ceremny as clsely as pssible, while ther clleagues recmmended that this new ceremny be differentiated in a variety f ways. All agreed in wanting the gay marriage ceremny t receive full recgnitin frm ur cmmunity, but sme felt that this culd be accmplished better by utilizing a distinct liturgical frmat. We recgnize this as a gd-faith debate with the shared gal f strengthening stable and lving unins fr bth gay and straight cuples. Indeed, cnversatins with gay and lesbian clleagues have cnfirmed that sme f them prefer rituals that fllw traditinal frmats as clsely as pssible, while thers prefer mre distinctin, and all welcme the availability f ptins. As a result, we are ffering tw mdel ceremnies, ne that clsely fllws the traditinal Jewish wedding liturgy, and ne that starts fresh. Each ceremny accmplishes the fllwing tasks, which we cnsider t be essential t any Jewish marriage ceremny: a. The cuple is welcmed, and Gd s blessings are requested fr their marriage. b. Traditinal symbls f celebratin such as wine and f cmmitment such as rings are used t add significance t this mment. 8 c. A dcument f cvenant cmmitting the cuple t live a life f mutual fidelity and respnsibility is read and witnessed. This cvenant is affirmed at the rings ceremny and cnstitutes the halakhic mechanism fr binding the cuple tgether as a family. 6 This has als been a challenge fr thse cuntries and American states that have mdified their marriage laws t recgnize same-sex unins. All majr English dictinaries have mdified their definitin f marriage t include same-sex cuples. See 7 See 8 The assciatin f wine with sng is fund in B. Brakht 35a. Extending this cncept t weddings, see cmments f Raba d t B. Brakht 39a. 3

4 d. Blessings thanking Gd fr this sacred mment f lving cvenant are recited, and the cuple s relatinship is linked t the brader narrative f the Jewish peple and its redemptin. These tw wedding ceremnies, like the kiddushin ceremny develped in Jewish traditin fr hetersexual cuples, emphasize values such as faithfulness, cmpassin, and financial respnsibility. They emply traditinal symbls f lve and marriage, speak t the cuple s cmmitment t living a life infused with study and devtin, and ask fr Gd s blessing upn their unin. In all f these ways these ceremnies cmmunicate that the family established by the cuple has the ptential t becme a bayit ne eman b Yisrael, a faithful husehld in Israel. They accmplish this with a mechanism distinct frm the traditinal kiddushin, but they reflect the kedushah r hliness in the cvenant that nw binds the cuple tgether as equal partners. Our hesitatins abut calling fr same-sex kiddushin are threefld: First, the ancient mdel f kiddushin, which may be translated either as sanctificatin r designatin, is an inherently nn-egalitarian mdel f marriage. 9 The riginal cncept frm antiquity, when plygamy was permitted, was fr a man t designate a wman fr himself in a ne-way exclusive arrangement. She was exclusively his, but he was nt exclusively hers. Already 1,000 years ag the decree f Rabbenu Gershm began t change this reality by banning plygamy in the Ashkenazi cmmunity. Cnservative wedding ceremnies have fr many decades emphasized an egalitarian ideal in the exchange f rings, have mdified the ketubbah text t include cmmitments frm the wman, 10 and have made use f petic verses such as Ani l ddi v ddi li ( I am my belved s, and my belved is mine ), 11 which emphasize mutual devtin in lve and marriage. Still, we have wrked within the bundaries f the established rituals and texts s that ur weddings can fulfill traditinal halakhic requirements even as they express ur egalitarian values. While sme hetersexual cuples may see in these new mdels f brit (cvenant) and shutafut (partnership) fr same-sex cuples a basis fr abandning the traditinal mdel f kiddushin (sanctificatin), Cnservative Judaism has taught us t respect ancient liturgy and t minimize mdificatins f text, fcusing instead n interpretive evlutin. We n lnger see the traditinal Jewish wedding as hierarchical. It is truly a meeting f equals bth in substance and in style. We realize that ur cnvictin des nt settle the matter f egalitarian hetersexual marriage ceremnies fr sme rabbis and cuples, and we welcme additinal studies n the subject, 12 but that lies utside the fcus 9 Our clleague Rabbi Gail Labvitz examines the develpment f the rabbinic terminlgy f kiddushin (betrthal) and its relatinship t the acquisitin f M. Kiddushin 1:1 and cncludes that the mdel f marriage remained hierarchical in classical rabbinic surces. See her article, The Language f the Bible and the Language f the Rabbis: A Linguistic Lk at Kiddushin, Part 1, in Cnservative Judaism 63:1 (Fall 2011) 25-42, and chapter tw f her bk, Marriage and Metaphr: Cnstructins f Gender in Rabbinic Literature (Lexingtn Bks, 2009). 10 וצביאת מרת פלונית כלה דא והות ליה לאנתו לאשתתופי עמיה בצוותא לקיימא ית ביתייהו באהבה ובאחוה בשלום וברעות כמנהגא דנשי יהודאן וכו'. 11 Sng f Sngs 6:3. 12 See The Chices f Marriage: One Cuple s Attempt t Create an Egalitarian Jewish Wedding Ceremny by Jill Jacbs and Guy Austrian in Cnservative Judaism 63:3 (Spring 2012). 4

5 f ur respnsum. Because fr gay cuples there is n established wedding liturgy, we have used this pprtunity t create a new ritual that uses the egalitarian language f partnership frm the utset. A secnd surce f hesitatin simply t apply the kiddushin mdel t same-sex cuples flws frm the previus ne. Accrding t Jewish law, a wman wh has been designated as a wife by a Jewish man requires a Jewish writ f divrce (get) frm him in rder t terminate the marriage and marry again. Althugh this practice is mandated by a specific passage in the Trah (Deut. 24:1-2), 13 it has been the surce f great suffering in many Jewish cmmunities, because a wman whse husband refuses her a Jewish divrce even after a civil divrce remains agunah, chained t him and unable t remarry. The Cnservative mvement has taken substantial measures t address this inequity: 1) We d nt allw a Jewish man wh has failed t prvide a get t his prir Jewish wife t remarry until he des s. 2) We use the Lieberman clause t the ketubbah t secure a prir cmmitment frm the tw partners t participate in a get in the event f a civil divrce, r a pre-nuptial agreement that wuld annul the marriage in the event f civil divrce with n get within six mnths. 3) In the absence f such agreements by the parties t the marriage, ur Jint Beit Din arranges fr hafka'at kiddushin (annulment f marriage) t retractively nullify the marriage s that the wman can remarry even withut a get. 14 Finally, the very language f the traditinal Jewish wedding liturgy and its dcuments, and likewise with the traditinal Jewish divrce ceremny and its dcuments, is gender specific. Neither fits same-sex cuples. Because f these cnsideratins we have decided t create a new halakhic structure fr same-sex unins and separatins that is fully egalitarian and that avids the severe liabilities f the get. Our p sak din (legal ruling) in the 2006 respnsum was intended t harmnize classical halakhic nrms regarding sexuality with cntemprary insights abut sexual identity and the impact f the status qu ante upn Jews wh are gay and lesbian. Just as ur halakhic cnclusin grew ut f classical halakhic surces, s t shuld ur ceremnies and dcuments grw ut f the surces f Jewish traditin. ברית The marriage dcument that we have designed is called the Cvenant f Lving Partners 15 A cvenant is an agreement t create a lasting relatinship in which each party brings.אהובות\אהובים certain assets and accepts specific respnsibilities twards the ther. This cvenant establishes a mutual acceptance f sexual fidelity as well as financial respnsibility fr each partner s welfare. It religiusly, 13 דברים פרק כד )א( כ י י ק ח א י ש א ש ה וב ע ל ה ו ה י ה א ם לא ת מ צ א ח ן ב ע ינ יו כ י מ צ א ב ה ע ר ו ת ד ב ר ו כ ת ב ל ה ספ ר כ ר יתת ו נ ת ן ב י ד ה ו ש ח ה מ ב ית: )ב( ו י צ אה מ ב ית: ו ה ל כ ה ו ה י ת ה ל א י ש אח ר Deuternmy 24:1-2 (NJPS trans.). A man takes a wife and pssesses her. She fails t please him because he finds smething bnxius abut her, and he writes her a bill f divrcement, hands it t her, and sends her away frm his huse. She leaves his husehld and becmes the wife f anther man. 14 This is based n the Talmudic principle, דמקדש אדעתא דרבנן מקדש, ואפקעינהו רבנן לקידושי מיניה,כל whever designates/sanctifies [a bride] des s by cnsent f the rabbis, and the rabbis may cancel his designatin (B. Ketubbt 3a; see als B. Yevamt 90b, B. Gittin 33a and 73a). 15 Rachel Adler first used this term and develped her wn ceremny and dcuments. While we have nt used her materials directly, we share her cncern at nt simply adapting kiddushin fr gay and lesbian cuples. See chapter 5 in Rachel Adler, Engendering Judaism: An Inclusive Thelgy and Ethics (The Jewish Publicatin Sciety, Philadelphia, 1998). 5

6 legally and mrally binds the cuple tgether in marriage. Fllwing the template f Rachel Adler, ur ceremnies have each member f the cuple perfrm a kinyan (acquisitin) nt f the ther persn, but f the partnership established between them as stipulated in the cvenant. This is called קנין סודר in the classical surces. 16 Althugh the cvenant indicates the cuple s cmmitment with the hpe that their marriage will be permanent, Judaism has never assumed that every marriage will succeed. As such, we have created a dcument and ceremny fr the frmal disslutin (hafarah) f same-sex marriages based n the Cvenant f Lving Partners (p.15). We have als cmpsed a dcument t be signed prir t the wedding ceremny that will functin as a pre-nuptial agreement in rder t eliminate halakhic impediments t divrce shuld the marriage fail and the cuple be unable t arrange fr the ceremny f disslutin. The Rabbinical Assembly maintains standards f rabbinic practice regarding marriage, and we shall apply the same standards t same-sex cuples. Cnservative/Masrti rabbis and cantrs (bund by parallel plicies f the Cantrs Assembly) may perfrm weddings nly fr cuples in which each member is Jewish accrding t the traditinal standards f identity and where neither is currently married by either Jewish 17 r civil 18 law t anther persn. Sectin II: Marriage Ceremnies Ceremny A: Huppah and Seven Blessings This ceremny is mdeled clsely n the traditinal Jewish ceremny fr hetersexual marriage while using a legal mechanism that is distinct frm kiddushin. Our gal is t replicate the pwerful imagery f the traditinal wedding ceremny within a distinctive legal structure f cvenant, berit, rather than kiddushin. The ring declaratin is a statement f sacred partnership, nt f acquisitin. The seven traditinal blessings, as fund in B. Ketubbt 8a, express ur gratitude t Gd fr the creatin f these individuals and ur prayers that their relatinship be blessed with happiness and peace. We have adapted the language f these texts t accmmdate the gender f the parties, 19 but we have avided 16 See B. BM 46a. 17 Each partner in a Jewish marriage must be either brn t a Jewish mther r cnverted with the rituals f milah and tevilah befre a rabbinic curt. If either has been previusly married, whether t a man r t a wman wh is Jewish and is still alive, then they must prvide r secure a Jewish divrce, nullificatin (hafka ah), r disslutin (hafarah) befre a Cnservative rabbi will be allwed t fficiate at the new marriage. 18 Fr the freseeable future civil law regarding gay marriage and divrce is likely t remain unsettled. Wherever civil jurisdictins make it pssible fr same sex cuples t marry r t enact ther frms f civil partnership, Cnservative rabbis shuld nt perfrm religius ceremnies in the absence f such civil arrangements. Wherever any marriage r ther frm f civil partnership was enacted by either member f the cuple in a previus relatinship, Cnservative rabbis shuld nt perfrm religius ceremnies fr this cuple until the prir arrangement has been legally disslved. Bth f these standards match ur practice with hetersexual cuples. 19 The blessing האדם,יוצר creatr f humanity is a gender-neutral expressin despite the traditinal translatin f.ו י ב ר א א 'ל ה ים א ת ה אד ם ב צ ל מ: ב צ ל ם א 'ל ה ים ב ר א א ת: ז כ ר ונ ק ב ה ב ר א א ת ם says, as man. Genesis 1:27 אדם 6

7 creating new blessing frmulas, relying instead n established blessings such as ha-tv v ha-meitiv 20 and she-heheyanu fr the paragraph clsings. Prir t the public ceremny, the cuple meets with their rabbi and with tw valid Jewish witnesses t sign the pre-nuptial agreement (p.14). The cuple is then welcmed t a traditinal wedding canpy (huppah), and the rabbi uses traditinal symbls f Jewish marriage tw cups f wine, rings, the marriage dcument, and a glass t be brken at the cnclusin. This ceremny is presented belw first fr a female cuple and then fr a male cuple, fllwed by a gender-neutral English translatin: 20 We use this blessing, first fund in M. Brakht 9:2, twice. The first time celebrates the frmal engagement, while the secnd celebrates the cmpletin f their marriage. 7

8 1. Huppah and Seven Blessings Ceremny fr a Female Cuple Welcming prayers: 21 ב ר וכ: ת ה ב א: ת ב ש ם י י, ב ר כ נ וכ ן מ ב ית י י. מ י א ד יר ע ל ה כ ל, מ י ב ר ו ך ע ל ה כ ל, מ י ג ד: ל ע ל ה כ ל ה וא י ב ר ך א ת ה ר ע: ת ה א ה וב: ת. The rabbi greets the cuple and intrduces the ceremny: ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י, א'ל ה ינ ו מ ל ך ה ע: ל ם, ב: ר א פ ר י ה ג פ ן. א'ל ה ינ ו ו א'ל ה י א ב: ת ינ ו ו א מ: ת ינ ו ה ש ק יפ ה מ מ ע: ן ק ד ש ך מ ן-ה ש מ י ם וב ר ך א ת-ה ר ע: ת ה א ה וב: ת ה כ: ר ת: ת ב ינ יה ן ב ר ית א ה וב: ת. ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י ה ט: ב ו ה מ ט יב. The cuple exchanges rings 22 and each declares: הי י-נ א ל י ל ב ת-ז וג ב אה ב ה וב אח ו ה, ב ש ל: ם וב ר ע ות, ב ע ינ י א'ל ה ים ו אד ם. Tgether they say: י ה י ר צ: ן מ פ נ י ך י י א'ל ה ינ ו ל כ: נ ן א ת ב ית ח י ינ ו ול ה ש יב א ת ש כ ינ ת: ב ת: כ נ ו. The marriage cvenant, ברית אהובות is nw read (see p.15), after which קנין סודר is perfrmed with a symblic bject, and the cvenant is signed by the witnesses. The fllwing blessings are recited: ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י, א'ל ה ינ ו מ ל ך ה ע: ל ם, ב: ר א פ ר י ה ג פ ן ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י, א'ל ה ינ ו מ ל ך ה ע: ל ם, ש ה כ ל ב ר א ל כ ב: ד: ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י, א'ל ה ינ ו מ ל ך ה ע: ל ם, י: צ ר ה אד ם ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י א'ל ה ינ ו מ ל ך ה ע: ל ם א ש ר י צ ר א ת ה אד ם ב צ ל מ:, ב צ לם ד מ ות ת ב נ ית:, ו אמ ר לא -ט: ב הי: ת ה אד ם ל ב ד:, א עש ה- : ע ז ר כ נ ג ד:. ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י י: צ ר ה אד ם. ש: ש ת ש יש ו ת ג ל ה ע ק ר ה ב ק ב וץ ב נ י ה ל ת: כ ה ב ש מ ח ה. ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י, מ ש מ ח צ י: ן ב ב נ י ה ש מ ח ת ש מ ח ר ע: ת ה א ה וב: ת כ ש מ ח ך י צ יר ך ב ג ן ע ד ן מ ק ד ם. ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י ה ט: ב ו ה מ ט יב. 23 ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י א'ל ה ינ ו מ ל ך ה ע: ל ם, א ש ר ב ר א ש ש: ן ו ש מ ח ה, א: ש ר וב ר כה, ג יל ה, ר נ ה, ד יצ ה ו ח ד ו ה, אה ב ה ו אח ו ה ו ש ל: ם ו ר ע ות. מ ה ר ה, י י א'ל ה ינ ו, י ש מ ע ב ע ר י י ה וד ה וב תחצ: ת י ר ו ש ל י ם, ק: ל ש ש: ן ו ק: ל ש מ ח ה, ק: ל ג יל ה ו ק: ל ר נ ה, ק: ל א מ ר ים ה: ד ו 24 ל י י כ י ט: ב כ י ל ע: ל ם ח ס ד:. ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י ש ה חי נ ו ו ק י מ נ ו ו ה ג יע נ ו ל ז מ ן ה ז ה. The rabbi ffers an additinal blessing t the cuple: א'ל ה ינ ו ו א'ל ה י א ב: ת ינ ו ו א מ: ת ינ ו, ב ר כ נ ו ב ב ר כ ה ה מ ת ש ש ת ב ת: ר ה, ה כ ת וב ה ע ל י ד י מ ש ה ע ב ד ך, ה א מ ור ה מ פ י אה ר ן וב נ יו כ ה נ ים, ע ם קד ש ך כ אמ ור י ב ר כ ך י י ו י ש מ ר ך. י א ר י י פ נ יו א ל י ך ו י תחנ ך. י ש א י י פ נ יו א ל י ך ו י ש ם ל ך ש ל: ם. The cuple breaks a glass, and thse present exclaim: ס מ ן ט: ב ומ ז ל ט: ב י ה א ל נ ו ול כ ל י ש ר א ל! 21 The last three wrds are said nly in a synaggue. 22 The rings symblize mutual devtin, nt acquisitin, s the declaratin des nt include kiddushin. 23 These wrds f celebratin are added in rder t preserve the traditinal meter f the seventh blessing. It is als pssible t recite here, וכלה,כלה bride and bride. 24 Adapted frm Jeremiah 33:11 and Psalm 118:1. 8

9 2. Huppah and Seven Blessings Ceremny fr a Male Cuple Welcming prayers: ב ר וכ ים ה ב א ים ב ש ם י י, ב ר כ נ וכ ם מ ב ית י י. 25 מ י א ד יר ע ל ה כ ל, מ י ב ר ו ך ע ל ה כ ל, מ י ג ד: ל ע ל ה כ ל ה וא י ב ר ך א ת ה ר ע ים ה א ה וב ים. The rabbi greets the cuple and intrduces the ceremny: ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י, א'ל ה ינ ו מ ל ך ה ע: ל ם, ב: ר א פ ר י ה ג פ ן. א'ל ה ינ ו ו א'ל ה י א ב: ת ינ ו ו א מ: ת ינ ו ה ש ק יפ ה מ מ ע: ן ק ד ש ך מ ן-ה ש מ י ם וב ר ך א ת-ה ר ע ים ה א ה וב ים ה כ: ר ת ים ב ינ יה ם ב ר ית א ה וב ים. ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י ה ט: ב ו ה מ ט יב. The cuple exchanges rings 26 and each declares: הי י-נ א ל י ל ב ן-ז וג ב אה ב ה וב אח ו ה, ב ש ל: ם וב ר ע ות, ב ע ינ י א'ל ה ים ו אד ם. י ה י ר צ: ן מ פ נ י ך י י א'ל ה ינ ו ל כ: נ ן א ת ב ית ח י ינ ו ול ה ש יב א ת ש כ ינ ת: ב ת: כ נ ו. Tgether they say: The marriage cvenant, ברית אהובים is nw read (see p.15), after which קנין סודר is perfrmed with a symblic bject, and the cvenant is signed by the witnesses. The fllwing blessings are recited: ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י, א'ל ה ינ ו מ ל ך ה ע: ל ם, ב: ר א פ ר י ה ג פ ן ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י, א'ל ה ינ ו מ ל ך ה ע: ל ם, ש ה כ ל ב ר א ל כ ב: ד: ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י, א'ל ה ינ ו מ ל ך ה ע: ל ם, י: צ ר ה אד ם ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י א'ל ה ינ ו מ ל ך ה ע: ל ם א ש ר י צ ר א ת ה אד ם ב צ ל מ:, ב צ ל ם ד מ ות ת ב נ ית:, ו אמ ר ל א-ט: ב הי: ת ה אד ם ל ב ד:, א עש ה- : ע ז ר כ נ ג ד:. ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י י: צ ר ה אד ם. ש: ש ת ש יש ו ת ג ל ה ע ק ר ה ב ק ב וץ ב נ יה ל ת: כ ה ב ש מ ח ה. ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י, מ ש מ ח צ י: ן ב ב נ י ה ש מ ח ת ש מ ח ר ע ים ה א ה וב ים כ ש מ ח ך י צ יר ך ב ג ן ע ד ן מ ק ד ם. ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י ה ט: ב ו ה מ ט יב. ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י א'ל ה ינ ו מ ל ך ה ע: ל ם, א ש ר ב ר א ש ש: ן ו ש מ ח ה, א: ש ר וב ר כ ה, 27 ג יל ה, ר נ ה, ד יצ ה ו ח ד ו ה, אה ב ה ו אח ו ה ו ש ל: ם ו ר ע ות. מ ה ר ה, י י א' לה ינ ו, י ש מ ע ב ע ר י י ה וד ה וב תחצ: ת י ר ו ש ל י ם, ק: ל ש ש: ן ו ק: ל ש מ ח ה, ק: ל ג יל ה ו ק: ל ר נ ה, ק: ל א מ ר ים ה: ד ו ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י ש ה חי נ ו ו ק י מ נ ו ו ה ג יע נ ו ל ז מ ן ה ז ה. ל י י כ י ט: ב כ י ל ע: ל ם ח ס ד:. 28 The rabbi ffers an additinal blessing t the cuple: א'ל ה ינ ו ו א'ל ה י א ב: ת ינ ו ו א מ: ת ינ ו, ב ר כ נ ו ב ב ר כ ה ה מ ת ש ש ת ב ת: ר ה, ה כ ת וב ה ע ל י ד י מ ש ה ע ב ד ך, ה א מ ור ה מ פ י אה ר ן וב נ יו כ ה נ ים, ע ם ק ד ש ך כ אמ ור י ב ר כ ך י י ו י ש מ ר ך. י א ר י י פ נ יו א ל י ך ו י תחנ ך. י ש א י י פ נ יו א ל י ך ו י ש ם ל ך ש ל: ם. The cuple breaks a glass, and thse present exclaim: ס מ ן ט: ב ומ ז ל ט: ב י ה א ל נ ו ול כ ל י ש ר א ל! 25 The last three wrds are said nly in a synaggue. 26 The rings symblize mutual devtin, nt acquisitin, s the declaratin des nt include kiddushin. 27 These wrds f celebratin are added in rder t preserve the traditinal meter f the seventh blessing. It is als pssible t recite here, וחתן,חתן grm and grm. 28 Adapted frm Jeremiah 33:11 and Psalm 118:1. 9

10 3. Gender-Neutral Translatin f Huppah and Seven Blessings Ceremny: Welcming Prayers: May thse wh enter be blessed in the Name f Adnai. (If the ceremny is held in a synaggue, the rabbi adds: We bless yu frm the huse f Adnai.) May the One wh is supreme in pwer, blessing, and glry bless these lving cmpanins. Opening Blessings: Praised are Yu, Adnai ur Gd, wh rules the universe, creating the fruit f the vine. Our Gd and Gd f ur Patriarchs and Matriarchs, lk dwn frm Yur hly abde, frm heaven, and bless 29 these lving cmpanins wh are tgether creating a Cvenant f Lvers. Praised are Yu, Adnai, wh is gd and des gd. Ceremny f Cvenant: The cuple exchanges rings and each declares: Be my cvenanted partner, in lve and friendship, in peace and cmpaninship, in the eyes f Gd and humanity. Tgether they say: May it be Yur will, Adnai, ur Gd, t establish ur life-lng husehld and t bring Yur presence int ur lives. The marriage cvenant, B rit Ahuvim/Ahuvt is nw read (see p.15), after which Kinyan Sudar is perfrmed with a symblic bject, and the cvenant is signed by the witnesses. Seven Blessings: 1. Praised are Yu, Adnai ur Gd, wh rules the universe, creating the fruit f the vine. 2. Praised are Yu, Adnai ur Gd, wh rules the universe, whse glry is evident in all f creatin. 3. Praised are Yu, Adnai ur Gd, wh rules the universe, Creatr f humanity. 4. Praised are Yu, Adnai ur Gd, wh rules the universe, wh created humanity in the divine image, wh structured us in the image f Gd, and said, It is nt gd fr a persn t live alne, I will make a fitting helper fr each ne. 30 Praised are Yu, Adnai, Creatr f humanity. 5. May Zin rejice as her children return t her in jy. Praised are Yu, Adnai, wh causes Zin t rejice in her children. 6. Grant perfect jy t these lving cmpanins, as Yu did fr Yur first human beings in the Garden f Eden. Praised are Yu, Adnai, wh is gd and des gd. 29 The Hebrew here uses the language f Deuternmy 26: Genesis 2:18. 10

11 7. Praised are Yu, Adnai, ur Gd wh rules the universe, wh created jy and gladness, happiness and blessing, pleasure and sng, delight, laughter, lve, harmny, peace, and cmpaninship. Adnai, ur Gd, may there always be heard in the cities f Judah and the streets f Jerusalem vices f jy and gladness, vices f pleasure and sng, vices f thse wh prclaim Give thanks t Adnai, fr Gd is gd, Gd s faithfulness is eternal. 31 Praised are Yu, Adnai, wh has kept us alive and sustained us and brught us t this jyus time. Clsing Prayers. The rabbi ffers an additinal blessing t the cuple: Our Gd, and Gd f ur Patriarchs and Matriarchs, bless us with the threefld blessing written in the Trah by Mses Yur servant, and prnunced by Aarn and his descendants, khanim, Yur hly peple, as it is recrded: May Adnai bless yu and keep yu. May Adnai smile n yu and be gracius t yu. May Adnai turn t yu and grant yu peace. 32 The cuple breaks a glass, and thse present prclaim: May there be gd frtune and gd luck fr us and all Israel! Ceremny B: Tallit and Three Blessings ***** This ceremny is differentiated in several ways frm the traditinal mdel f huppah and kiddushin. Instead f a canpy, the cuple is wrapped in a tallit t represent the sheltering presence f Gd. Language f partnership suffuses the text, and three blessings are ffered in place f the seven f the traditinal hetersexual nissuin ceremny and ur first mdel ceremny abve. Prir t the public ceremny, the cuple meets with the rabbi and with tw valid Jewish witnesses t sign the pre-nuptial agreement (p.14), and then the marriage cvenant (p.15). In this ceremny there is n wedding canpy (huppah); rather, the cuple stands with their rabbi befre a table cntaining a tallit, the rings, the marriage cvenant, and the wine. The ceremny is presented belw first fr a female cuple and then fr a male cuple, fllwed by a gender-neutral English translatin. 31 Psalms 136:1. 32 Numbers 6:

12 1. Tallit and Three Blessings Ceremny fr a Female Cuple 33 ב ר וכ: ת ה ב א: ת ב ש ם י י, ב ר כ נ וכ ן מ ב ית י י. מ י ש ב ר ך א ב: ת ינ ו אב ר ה ם י צ ח ק ו י ע ק ב ו א מ ת ינ ו ש ר ה ר ב ק ה ר ח ל ו ל אה ה וא י ב ר ך א ת ה ר ע: ת ה א ה וב: ת. Welcming prayers: The rabbi greets the cuple and intrduces the ceremny: ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י, א'ל ה ינ ו מ ל ך ה ע: ל ם, ב: ר א פ ר י ה ג פ ן. א'ל ה ינ ו ו א'ל ה י א ב: ת ינ ו ו א מ: ת ינ ו ה ש ק יפ ה מ מ ע: ן ק ד ש ך מ ן-ה ש מ י ם וב ר ך א ת ה ר ע: ת ה א ה וב: ת ה מ ש ת ת פ: ת י ח ד ה י: ם ב ש ות פ ות ח י ים, ו ז כ ן ש ת ש ב נ ה ל פ נ י ך ב אה ב ה וב אח ו ה ב ש ל: ם וב ר ע ות. ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י ה ט: ב ו ה מ ט יב. הי י-נ א ל י ש ות פ ת ח י י, א ה וב ת י ומ י וד ע ת י, ב ע ינ י א'ל ה ים ו אד ם. י ה י ר צ: ן מ פ נ י ך י י, א'ל ה ינ ו ל כ: נ ן א ת ב ית ח י ינ ו ול ה ש יב א ת ש כ ינ ת: ב ת: כ נ ו. The cuple exchanges rings and each declares: Tgether they say: The cuple recites the blessing ver the tallit jintly and wraps themselves tgether int a large tallit (which might be specially prepared fr the ccasin). The marriage cvenant is nw read (see p.15). The fllwing blessings are read: ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י, א'ל ה ינ ו מ ל ך ה ע: ל ם, ב: ר א פ ר י ה ג פ ן. ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י, א'ל ה ינ ו מ ל ך ה ע: ל ם, ש ה כ ל ב ר א ל כ ב: ד:. -ט: ב הי: ת ה אד ם ל ב ד:, א עש ה לא ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י א'ל ה ינ ו מ ל ך ה ע: ל ם א ש ר י צ ר א ת ה אד ם ב צ ל מ:, ב צ ל ם ד מ ות ת ב נ ית:, ו אמ ר ל: ע ז ר כ נ ג ד:. ה: ד ו ל י י כ י ט: ב כ י ל ע: ל ם ח ס ד:. ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י א'ל ה ינ ו מ ל ך ה ע: ל ם, ש ה חי נ ו ו ק י מ נ ו ו ה ג יע נ ו ל ז מ ן ה ז ה. The rabbi may nw ffer an additinal blessing t the cuple: א'ל ה ינ ו ו א'ל ה י א ב: ת ינ ו ו א מ: ת ינ ו, ב ר כ נ ו ב ב ר כ ה ה מ ת ש ש ת ב ת: ר ה, ה כ ת וב ה ע ל י ד י מ ש ה ע ב ד ך, ה א מ ור ה מ פ י אה ר ן וב נ יו כ ה נ ים, ע ם ק ד ש ך כ אמ ור י ב ר כ ך י י ו י ש מ ר ך. י א ר י י פ נ יו א ל י ך ו י תחנ ך. י ש א י י פ נ יו א ל י ך ו י ש ם ל ך ש ל: ם. The cuple breaks a glass, and thse present exclaim: ס מ ן ט: ב ומ ז ל ט: ב י ה א ל נ ו ול כ ל י ש ר א ל! 33 The last three wrds are said nly in a synaggue. 12

13 2. Tallit and Three Blessings Ceremny fr a Male Cuple Welcming prayers: ב ר וכ ים ה ב א ים ב ש ם ד', ב ר כ נ וכ ם מ ב ית ד'. 34 מ י ש ב ר ך א ב: ת ינ ו אב ר ה ם י צ ח ק ו י ע ק ב ו א מ ת ינ ו ש ר ה ר ב ק ה ר ח ל ו ל אה ה וא י ב ר ך א ת ה ר ע ים ה א ה וב ים. The rabbi greets the cuple and intrduces the ceremny: ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י, א'ל ה ינ ו מ ל ך ה ע: ל ם, ב: ר א פ ר י ה ג פ ן. ה מ ש ת ת פ ים י ח ד ה י: ם ה ר ע ים ה א ה וב ים א'ל ה ינ ו ו א'ל ה י א ב: ת ינ ו ו א מ: ת ינ ו ה ש ק יפ ה מ מ ע: ן ק ד ש ך מ ן-ה ש מ י ם וב ר ך א ת ב ש ות פ ות ח י ים, ו ז כ ם ש י ש ב ו ל פ נ י ך ב אה ב ה וב אח ו ה ב ש ל: ם וב ר ע ות. ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י ה ט: ב ו ה מ ט יב. הי י-נ א ל י ש ות ף ח י י, א ה וב י ומ י וד ע י, ב ע ינ י א'ל ה ים ו אד ם. י ה י ר צ: ן מ פ נ י ך י י, א'ל ה ינ ו ל כ: נ ן א ת ב ית ח י ינ ו ול ה ש יב א ת ש כ ינ ת: ב ת: כ נ ו. The cuple exchanges rings and each declares: Tgether they say: The cuple recites the blessing ver the tallit jintly and wraps themselves tgether int a large tallit (which might be specially prepared fr the ccasin). The marriage cvenant is nw read (see p.15). The fllwing blessings are read: ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י, א'ל ה ינ ו מ ל ך ה ע: ל ם, ב: ר א פ ר י ה ג פ ן. ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י, א'ל ה ינ ו מ ל ך ה ע: ל ם, ש ה כ ל ב ר א ל כ ב: ד:. ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י א'ל ה ינ ו מ ל ך ה ע: ל ם א ש ר י צ ר א ת ה אד ם ב צ ל מ:, ב צ ל ם ד מ ות ת ב נ ית:, ו אמ ר לא -ט: ב הי: ת ה אד ם ל ב ד:, א עש ה ל: ע ז ר כ נ ג ד:. ה: ד ו ל י י כ י ט: ב כ י ל ע: ל ם ח ס ד:. ב ר ו ך א ת ה י י א'ל ה ינ ו מ ל ך ה ע: ל ם, ש ה חי נ ו ו ק י מ נ ו ו ה ג יע נ ו ל ז מ ן ה ז ה. The rabbi may nw ffer an additinal blessing t the cuple: א'ל ה ינ ו ו א'ל ה י א ב: ת ינ ו ו א מ: ת ינ ו, ב ר כ נ ו ב ב ר כ ה ה מ ת ש ש ת ב ת: ר ה, ה כ ת וב ה ע ל י ד י מ ש ה ע ב ד ך, ה א מ ור ה מ פ י אה ר ן וב נ יו כ ה נ ים, ע ם ק ד ש ך כ אמ ור י ב ר כ ך י י ו י ש מ ר ך. י א ר י י פ נ יו א ל י ך ו י תחנ ך. י ש א י י פ נ יו א ל י ך ו י ש ם ל ך ש ל: ם. The cuple breaks a glass, and thse present exclaim: ס מ ן ט: ב ומ ז ל ט: ב י ה א ל נ ו ול כ ל י ש ר א ל! 34 The last three wrds are said nly in a synaggue. 13

14 3. Gender-Neutral Translatin f Tallit and Three Blessings Ceremny Welcming Prayers: May thse wh enter be blessed in the Name f Adnai. (If the ceremny is held in a synaggue, the rabbi adds: We bless yu frm within the huse f Adnai.) May the One wh is supreme in pwer, blessing, and glry bless these lving cmpanins. Opening Blessings: Praised are Yu, Adnai ur Gd, wh rules the universe, creating the fruit f the vine. Our Gd and Gd f ur Patriarchs and Matriarchs, lk dwn frm Yur hly abde, frm heaven, and bless 35 these lving cmpanins wh are tgether participating in a Cvenant f lifelng partnership. May they dwell befre Yu in lve, harmny, peace, and cmpaninship. Praised are Yu, Adnai, wh is gd and des gd. Rings Ceremny. The cuple exchanges rings, and each declares: May yu be fr me my life-lng partner, my lver, my intimate ne, in the eyes f Gd and human beings. Tgether they say: May it be Yur will, Adnai, ur Gd, t establish ur life-lng husehld and t bring Yur presence int ur lives. The cuple recites the blessing ver the tallit jintly and wrap themselves tgether int a large tallit (which might be specially prepared fr the ccasin). The marriage cvenant is nw read (see p.15). Ceremny f Three Blessings The fllwing blessings are recited with a cup f wine in hand: 1. Praised are Yu, Adnai ur Gd, Svereign f the universe, Creatr f the fruit f the vine. 2. Praised are Yu, Adnai ur Gd, wh rules the universe, whse glry is evident in all f creatin. 3. Praised are Yu, Adnai ur Gd, wh rules the universe, wh created human beings in the divine image, wh structured us in the image f Gd, and wh said, It is nt gd fr a persn t live alne, I will make a fitting helper fr each ne. 36 Give thanks t Adnai, fr Gd is gd, Gd s faithfulness is eternal. 37 Praised are Yu, Adnai, ur Gd, wh has kept us alive and sustained us and brught us t this jyus time. The rabbi may nw ffer an additinal blessing t the cuple: Our Gd, and Gd f ur Patriarchs and Matriarchs, bless us with the threefld blessing written in the Trah by Mses Yur servant, and prnunced by Aarn and his descendants, khanim, Yur 35 The Hebrew here uses the language f Deuternmy 26: Genesis 2: Psalms 136:1. 14

15 hly peple, as it is recrded: May Adnai bless yu and keep yu. May Adnai smile n yu and be gracius t yu. May Adnai turn t yu and grant yu peace. 38 The cuple breaks a glass, and thse present prclaim: May there be gd frtune and gd luck fr us and all Israel! Pre-Nuptial Agreement (Tnai Biverit). Sectin III: Marriage Dcuments This dcument is t be cmpleted and signed by the cuple and their witnesses prir t the wedding ceremny. A cpy shall be kept by the fficiating rabbi, with the riginal returned t the cuple tgether with their ther marriage dcuments. This is t certify that n the [Hebrew date] day f the [Hebrew mnth] in the year [Hebrew year], crrespnding t the [secular date] f [secular mnth], [secular year] in [name f jurisdictin], and, f their wn free will and accrd, stipulated the fllwing with respect t the Cvenant f Lving Partners that they enter tday I affirm that this is a mutual cvenant and agreement, supprted by the cntinuing affirmatin f bth parties. Shuld we chse t part at sme future time, just as this cvenant has been cncluded penly befre the Jewish peple, s d I cmmit t severing this bnd thrugh a disslutin [hafarah] in the fashin rdained by a Jewish curt [Bet Din]. Ntwithstanding, shuld we be separated fr mre than six mnths with the intent by either party t terminate the unin, this cvenant shall be null and vid. bride/grm witness bride/grm witness 38 Numbers 6:

16 Cvenant f Lving Partners. In the presence f the cuple, tw valid witnesses and ther guests, the fficiating rabbi reads the Cvenant and asks each party t signify acceptance f its terms thrugh the mechanism f קנין,קבלת the lifting f a symblic bject such as a pen r kerchief. The witnesses then attest t the mutual cmmitment by signing the Cvenant in Hebrew (and English, if using). This may take place just prir t the wedding ceremny r during the ceremny itself in the place indicated. Fr a Female Cuple ברית אהובות ב _) 1 (_ ב ש ב ת, _)2(_ י: ם ל ח ד ש _)3(_, ש נ ת ח מ ש ת א ל פ ים ו ש ב ע מ א: ת ו _) 4 (_ ל מ נ י ן ש אנ ו מ: נ ים כ אן ב _) 5 (_ ב מ ד ינ ת _)6(_ אמ ר ו _)7(_ ב ת _)8(_ ו _) 7 (_ ב ת _)8(_ ב פ נ י ע ם ו ע ד ה ב ה צ ה ר ה ק ד: ש ה י ה א י ד וע ב ז ה ש נ ק ש ר ו נ פ ש: ת ינ ו ז: ב ז: ב ק ש ר י אה ב ה ומ ס יר ות ה ד ד ית, וב כ ו נ ת נ ו ב ע ז ר ת י י ל ה י: ת נ אמ נ: ת ז: ל ז: ב א: פ ן ב ל ע ד י כ ל-י מ י ח י ינ ו ע ל י א ד מ: ת, כ מ: ש ש נ ו ר ב: ת ינ ו, ת ק נ ה א ש ה ח ב ר ה ל ע צ מ ה ש ת אכ ל ע מ ה ו ת ש ת ה ע מ ה ו ת ק ר א ע מ ה ו ת ש נ ה ע מ ה ו ת י ש ן ע מ ה ות ג ל ה ל ה כ ל ס ת ר י ה, ס ת ר י ת: ר ה ו ס ת ר י ד ר ך א ר ץ. 39 א נ ח נ ו נ ש ת ת ף מ ן-ה י: ם ה ז ה ו ה ל אה ב ש ית וף ג מ ור כ ר א וי ב א: ש ר וב ל ב ש ל ם ונ ק י ם מ ש ק ב י ת מ ת שת ף. נ ה י ה ז: ל ז: ר ע: ת א ה וב: ת ו נ: ק יר ונ כ ב ד ונ פ ר נ ס ו נ ס ע ד ז: א ת ז: ב י: ש ר וב אמ ונ ה. ב ע ז ר ת ה' ב מ ע: נ נ ו י ש ר ו אה ב ה ו אח ו ה ש ל: ם ו ר ע ות ו נ ז כ ה ל ט פ ח י ח ד א ת מ: ר ש ת ה י ה ד ות, אה ב ת י ש ר א ל וכ ב: ד ה ב ר י: ת. כ ל מ ה ש כ ת וב ומ פ: ר ש ל ע יל נ אמ ר ו נ ע ש ה ל פ נ ינ ו, ו ה כ ל ש ר יר ו ק י ם. עד/ה עד/ה Cuple: Fr a Male ברית אהובים ב _) 1 (_ ב ש ב ת, _)2(_ ל ח ד ש _)3(_, ש נ ת ח מ ש ת א ל פ ים ו ש ב ע מ א: ת ו _) 4 (_ ל מ נ י ן ש אנ ו מ: נ ים כ אן ב _) 5 (_ ב מ ד ינ ת _)6(_ אמ ר ו _)7(_ ב ן _)8(_ ו _) 7 (_ ב ן _)8(_ ב פ נ י ע ם ו ע ד ה ב ה צ ה ר ה ק ד: ש ה י ה א י ד וע ב ז ה ש נ ק ש ר ו נ פ ש: ת ינ ו ז: ב ז: ב ק ש ר י אה ב ה ומ ס יר ות ה ד ד ית, וב כ ו נ ת נ ו ב ע ז ר ת י י ל ה י: ת נ אמ נ ים ז ה ל ז ה ב א: פ ן ב ל ע ד י כ ל-י מ י ח י ינ ו ע ל י א ד מ: ת כ מ: ש ש נ ו ר ב: ת ינ ו י ק נ ה אד ם ח ב ר ל ע צ מ: ש י אכ ל ע מ: ו י ש ת ה ע מ: ו י ק ר א ע מ: ו י ש נ ה ע מ: ו י י ש ן ע מ: ו יג ל ה ל: כ ל ס ת ר יו, ס ת ר י ת: ר ה ו ס ת ר י ד ר ך א ר ץ. 40 א נ ח נ ו נ ש ת ת ף מ ן-ה י: ם ה ז ה ו ה ל אה ב ש ית וף ג מ ור כ ר א וי ב א: ש ר וב ל ב ש ל ם ונ ק י ם מ ש ק ב י ת מ ת שת ף. נ ה י ה ז ה ל ז ה ר ע ים א ה וב ים ו נ: ק יר ונ כ ב ד ונ פ ר נ ס ו נ ס ע ד ז ה א ת-ז ה ב י: ש ר וב אמ ונ ה. ב ע ז ר ת ה' ב מ ע: נ נ ו י ש ר ו אה ב ה ו אח ו ה ש ל: ם ו ר ע ות ו נ ז כ ה ל ט פ ח י חד א ת מ: ר ש ת ה י ה ד ות, אה ב ת י ש ר א ל וכ ב: ד ה ב ר י: ת. כ ל מ ה ש כ ת וב ומ פ: ר ש ל ע יל נ אמ ר ו נ ע ש ה ל פ נ ינ ו, ו ה כ ל ש ר יר ו ק י ם. עד/ה עד/ה (1) day f week; (2) day f mnth; (3) Hebrew mnth; (4) Hebrew year; (5) city name; (6) cuntry/cntinent; (7) names f the brides/grms and (8) f their parents. 39 Adapted frm Avt d Rabbi Natan A, #8. 40 Avt d Rabbi Natan A, #8. 16

17 English Cvenant f Lving Partners: On the day f the week, the day f the mnth f in the year five thusand seven hundred, crrespnding t the secular date f, here in in the cuntry f we, the daughter/sn f, and the daughter/sn f, befre the peple and the cngregatin make this hly declaratin: Let it be knwn that ur suls are bund ne t the ther with bnds f lve and mutual devtin, and that it is ur intentin, with Gd s help, t be exclusively faithful t each ther all the days f ur lives upn this earth. As ur Sages taught: A persn shuld find a partner with whm t eat, drink, read, study, sleep, and share every secret, secrets f Trah and secrets f life. 41 We shall share frm this day a cmplete partnership, jyfully and whleheartedly establishing a husehld in cmmn with mral and financial respnsibilities fr ne anther. We shall be lving partners fr each ther and will cherish, respect, sustain and assist ne anther in righteusness and faithfulness. With Gd s help may ur dwelling be filled with lve and harmny, peace and cmpaninship, and may we be privileged t nurture tgether ur Jewish heritage, ur lve fr ur fellw Jews and the dignity f every creature. We, the witnesses, attest that everything that is written and specified abve has been dne in ur presence and is valid and effective. (Signature), witness (Signature), witness 41 Adapted frm Avt d Rabbi Natan A, #8. 17

18 Sectin IV The Disslutin f a Same-Sex Marriage The biblical text that cmmands a man wh divrces his wife t write her a bk f separatin (Deuternmy 24:1) discusses hetersexual cuples, and the substantial crpus f rabbinic law surrunding the writing and delivery f a get (writ f divrce) is likewise designed fr such cuples, with gender-specific rles fr husband and wife. That said, a same-sex cuple that has made a slemn and halakhically binding cmmitment t each ther in a public ceremny such as the nes described shuld, if it prves untenable fr them t stay tgether, have a prper disslutin f their unin. The dcument f disslutin prvided belw fr same-sex male and female marriages severs the agreement that was established in the Cvenant and explicitly releases each partner frm the bnds f the marriage, just as the traditinal get includes a dcument f release. 42 In secular jurisdictins that recgnize same-sex marriages, civil unins, r dmestic partnerships, a disslutin f the cuple's unin in civil law must precede this ceremny. There is n need t replicate the prcedures invlving a scribe which the rabbis required fr a get. 43 Thus, the fllwing dcuments may be filled in, printed, and signed. The signature (hatimah) is by the partner presenting the dcument; as indicated belw. When bth agree t participate in this prceeding, each shuld fill ut the dcument and present it t the ther. Hwever, in cases where this is nt the case, ne partner may cmplete the disslutin dcument unilaterally.. Witnesses t the signature f the principal are required, fllwing the general requirements f witnesses under Jewish law. 44 Three cpies f each disslutin dcument shuld be signed with ne riginal returned t each party, and ne frwarded t the Rabbinical Assembly, as described belw. 42 This hafarah (disslutin) is applicable t disslve the bnds f a same-sex marriage whatever dcumentary frm it may have taken, fr these bnds are in existence nly by mutual agreement and may be unilaterally disslved (which was nt the case with kiddushin). Where the marriage cntained a frmal persnal ath, the rabbi shuld cnvene a Bet Din t release the vw befre cmpleting the disslutin dcument. 43 Which the Sages required be written in his name, in her name, and fr the sake f divrce (see Rema in SA EH, Order f the Get #42). 44 Witnesses must be Jewish, nt relatives f either party r f each ther, and be knwn as members f their lcal Jewish cmmunity. 18

19 נ וס ח ה פ ר ת ב ר ית א ה וב ים )לשון זכר( ב ב ש ב ת, ל ח ד ש, ש נ ת ח מ ש ת א ל פ ים ו ש ב ע מ א: ת ו ל מ נ י ן ש אנ ו מ: נ ים כ אן ב ב מ ד ינ ת א נ י, ה מ כ ונ ה, ע מ ד ת י ב ר צ: ן ח פ ש י, ב ל א א: נ ס וב ל א ד: ח ק, ופ ט ר ת י ך, ה מ כ ונ ה, ש ה י ית ר ע י ע ד ע ת ה, מ ן ה ב ר ית ש ה ת ק י מ ה ב ינ ינ ו. ה ר י ר ש ות ב י ד ך ל כ ר: ת ב ר ית א ה וב ים אח ר ת כ ר צ: נ ך. ו ז ה י ה י ה ל ך ל א: ת ה פ ר ת ה ב ר ית ש ה ת ק י מ ה ב ינ ינ ו ל ש ע ב ר ב ע ינ י ך וב ע ינ י א'ל ה ם י ו אד ם. עד/ה עד/ה חתימה נ וס ח ה פ ר ת ב ר ית א ה וב ות )לשון נקבה) ב ב ש ב ת, ל ח ד ש, ש נ ת ח מ ש ת א ל פ ים ו ש ב ע מ א: ת ו ל מ נ י ן ש אנ ו מ: נ ים כ אן ב ב מ ד ינ ת א נ י, ה מ כ ונ ה, ע מ ד ת י ב ר צ: ן ח פ ש י, ב ל א א: נ ס וב ל א ד: ח ק, ופ ט ר ת י ך, ה מ כ ונ ה, ש ה י ית ר עי ת י ע ד ע ת ה, מ ן ה ב ר ית ש ה ת ק י מ ה ב ינ ינ ו. ה ר י ר ש ות ב י ד ך ל כ ר: ת ב ר ית א ה וב ים אח ר ת כ ר צ: נ ך. ו ז ה י ה י ה ל ך ל א: ת ה פ ר ת ה ב ר ית ש ה ת ק י מ ה ב ינ ינ ו ל ש ע ב ר ב ע ינ י ך וב ע ינ י א' לה ים ו אד ם. עד/ה עד/ה חתימה Disslutin f the Cvenant f Lving Partners On the day f the week, the day f the mnth f in the year five thusand seven hundred, crrespnding t the secular date f, here in in the cuntry f, I, the daughter/sn f, arse f my wn free will, withut cercin r pressure, and have released yu the daughter/sn f, wh had been my lving partner until nw, frm the cvenant that had been between us. Yu are hereby permitted t establish any ther such cvenant that yu desire. This shall be the frmal disslutin f the cvenant that had existed between us in yur eyes, and in the eyes f Gd and all peple. Prcedure fr Delivery Ideally, where the separatin is mutually agreed, each member f the partnership will fill ut a disslutin frm and deliver it persnally t his r her partner. Where the partners exchange disslutin dcuments mutually, each shuld say (in Hebrew r English r any ther language that is cmmn t them): לשון זכר: ה ת ק ב ל ה פ ר ה ז:. ו ז ה י ה י ה ל א: ת ה פ ר ת ה ב ר ית ש ה ת ק י מ ה ב ינ ינ ו ל ש ע ב ר ב ע ינ י ך וב ע ינ י א'ל ה ים ו אד ם. לשון נקבה: ה ת ק ב ל י ה פ ר ה ז:. ו ז ה י ה י ה ל א: ת ה פ ר ת ה ב ר ית ש ה ת ק י מ ה ב ינ ינ ו ל ש ע ב ר ב ע ינ י ך וב ע ינ י א'ל ה ים ו אד ם. 19

20 Here is the dcument f disslutin. This shall be the frmal disslutin f the cvenant that had existed between us in yur eyes, and in the eyes f Gd and all peple. The persn giving the dcument shall then place it in the hands f his/her partner. Where mutual hafart are cntemplated, each shuld present the hafarah they have prepared t the ther. Where n exchange is cntemplated, a cpy shuld be sent t the absent partner. While n rabbinic presence is necessary t effectuate this disslutin, the separating partners may wish t d s befre their rabbi. In that case, the rabbi might serve as ne f the witnesses t the hafarah and issue each f them, as well, a letter attesting t the perfrmance f the ritual in his r her presence. In all cases the secnd cpy shuld be sent t the Registry f Disslutins f the Rabbinical Assembly, 3080 Bradway, NY, NY 10027, alng with a cpy f the Brit Ahuvim/Ahuvt if it is available r a statement f the date and place in which the Brit Ahuvim/Ahuvt was entered int, and the fficiant theref. 45 Because f the significance f these dcuments, all mail (paper r electrnic) shuld be registered, return receipt requested. The third cpy shuld be retained by the principal. Sectin V: Lking Frward The passage f mre than five years since ur respnsum Hmsexuality, Human Dignity and Halakhah, was adpted has seen many milestnes regarding gay rights in secular law and in Cnservative Jewish life. Mre American states nw permit the civil marriage f gay men and lesbians, and the U.S. Supreme Curt may eventually rule abut the legality f denying gay men and lesbians the right t marry anywhere in the United States. In Israel and arund the wrld, the right f gay and lesbian cuples t have their cmmitted relatinships legally recgnized is rapidly expanding. We hpe that the ceremnies and dcuments in this Appendix will be welcmed by rabbis and cuples arund the Jewish wrld as ne way t invest these imprtant life cycle events with Jewish meaning and hliness and thus further make ur gay and lesbian members fully welcme within the Cnservative/Masrti cmmunity. 45 Precise administrative details will be wrked ut by the RA. 20

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