On September 9th I was part of a truly joyous simchah – the wedding of Richard Ruth and Jim North, two members of Kol Ami, our Northern Virginia affiliate. It was a perfect day in every sense – the weather was warm and sunny and there was enough joy and ruach (spirit) to fill the whole world.
Rabbi Leila Gal Berner conducted a beautiful wedding service, which, in the best tradition of Reconstructionism, took the “traditional” marriage service and perfectly adapted it for this sacred occasion -- Richard and Jim publicly, Jewishly affirming their love for each other and their commitment to take their two separate lives and combine them into one, new life.
In his beautiful and moving D’var torah during the Shacharit service just before the wedding, Richard spoke of all of us who were at the service being the “sound of a shofar, breaking up a confining reality in need of braking up, so that We and all G-d’s children can have a space in which to live … Two grooms, multiple voices – a new kind of joy and an expanded opportunity for gladdening.” “Kol chatan v’kol chatan v’kol Kehilah – the voice of two grooms and the voice of the entire community” came together as one in joyous celebration on September 9th.
Mazal tov to Richard and Jim and mazal tov to Rabbi Leila and Kol Ami, which created a simchah that truly embodied all the best and highest values of the Reconstructionist movement!