Welcome to our commitment ceremony. Some of you may be wondering what the purpose is of our having this ceremony. There are many kinds of commitment. Both of us are committed Orthodox Jews, for example. And it isn’t every day that two Orthodox women have a ceremony to celebrate their love and commitment as we are doing here today.
This is not a mimicry of a standard wedding. It is said that imitation is the highest form of flattery, but the underlying basis of this saying is the idea that people emulate that which they view as superior to themselves, and that imitation can therefore be seen as an admission of inferiority.
This is not a mimicry of a standard wedding.
We are not going to take a standard Orthodox Jewish wedding and change the gender around to make our ceremony. That would make a mockery out of what we are doing here today.
But one of the elements of any wedding in any culture is the recognition of a bond—a commitment—between two people. The ceremony by which straight couples become married contains this as well. And we would do well to consider what our Sages, of blessed memory, had to say about this ceremony, and to learn from their example.
A Jewish wedding has many parts. Only two of these are actually mandated by halakha (Jewish Law). The first is KIDDUSHIN, in which the couple becomes halakhically committed to one another, and the second is NESUIN, in which the community celebrates the beginning of the couple’s actual life together and accepts them, as a couple, into the community. Accordingly, our ceremony will be made up of two parts: