March 23, 2019

Israel's Rabbi for Same-Sex Couples

“The last thing she wants to do is to incite a war, but when Tamar Gur Krause, a Reform female rabbi, describes what sets apart the marriage ceremonies she conducts, she doesn’t hide the fact she also officiates at same-sex weddings, and that in her opinion, the Orthodox wedding ceremonies seem like a parody of a prayer. And yes, she does know that there are many in Israel—and not just former anti-LGBT Shas minister Eli Yishai—who would be outraged and horrified by her words.

“In an Orthodox wedding ceremony, the rabbi stands in front of two puppets,” she says. “One puppet, who is the bride, stands covered and silent, while the other puppet, who is always male, repeats the rabbi’s words in Aramaic without understanding anything. After the male puppet breaks the glass and the two puppets kiss, the party can start. The bride and groom will know what songs are going to be played at every stage of the evening, but they will have no idea what they’re saying under the chuppah (Jewish wedding canopy).”

In the Reform wedding ceremonies she holds, the 31-year-old Gur Krause says, “the masters of the ceremony are the bride and groom, or the bride and bride, or the groom and groom.””

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