From Cantor Lee
Our daughter is getting married this weekend! Two and a half years ago, when we first shared in a congregation newsletter article (which is below) Rachel’s engagement to her partner, Marissa, we were amazed by the feedback we received. People seemed to come out of the woodwork, mostly thanking us for being so open about gay marriage which helped them deal with their own family issues in this area. As we explained in the article even Rabbi David and I had some conditioned beliefs which we needed to recognize so we could clear them. In spiritual teachings the more we as individuals clear our own issues, the more we help the collective. There must have been a lot of clearing over the past two and a half years as it is amazing at how many strides have been made in the acceptance and legalization of gay marriage. Of course Florida isn’t quite there yet. As Rachel said to me recently, “Mom, even Utah is ahead of Florida!”
Here is the article from two and a half years ago:
We have exciting news! Our daughter, Rachel is engaged!! In Judaism, when G-d, the ultimate matchmaker, brings two souls together in love, their happiness and joy spill out into the world, affecting everyone around them. Thus, the couple is essentially performing Tikun Olam, the repairing of the world.
No, we do not have a wedding date yet and Yes, we are calling the ceremony a wedding, even though if performed today, Rachel’s marriage to Marissa would not be recognized by the state of Florida. It is much easier to be a gay couple these days, but we still have a long way to go. Rachel and Marissa are aware that they may encounter some prejudice, perhaps even from people close to us. And there may be others who wish to be accepting but are struggling with their true inner feelings. It takes work and often courage to transform beliefs that have been instilled in us since childhood. But this is part of the work of Tikun Olam, repairing of the world, that we Jews have agreed to do. For as we transform ourselves and climb “Jacob’s Ladder” to the next level of consciousness, we affect the whole.
For both of us during our growing up years, we were programmed with the belief that being gay was something to be kept in the shadows and especially secret from the older generation! When Rachel shared her news, we looked deep within ourselves to root out any part of this belief that was still lingering. There is a beautiful saying in Judaism; “Who is Wise? He who learns from every man.” We are grateful that Rachel has been the catalyst for our own learning and spiritual growth, perhaps even helping us get to the next rung of the ladder!
We are looking forward to this next step of having a married child and to officially welcoming Marissa into our family.
May we all be blessed with the opportunity to learn from each other and may we all be blessed with Love!!
(The picture above is from their engagement party Dec. 2012. Yes, it was cold in Florida that day! Rachel is on the left and Marissa on the right.)
From Rabbi David aka The Reb
And my words of wisdom are: AMEN TO THAT! This father of the bride will be doing a lot of dancing this weekend!