Mazel Tov on your engagement!
What a wonderful time in your life! You've just become engaged and are now looking forward to planning the ceremony at which you and your fiancé will become united in marriage.
The purpose of this guide is to describe and explain the philosophy and policies of Temple Beth Ami concerning the wedding ceremony. We suggest that you (and your parents) read it thoroughly because it will answer many of the questions you may have. Although the guide deals primarily with weddings held in our building, most of the policies and information contained in this guide are applicable to weddings performed by Temple Beth Ami clergy at other locations. This is primarily an administrative guide. While we have included a brief description of many of the beautiful and rich components of a Jewish wedding ceremony, we cannot begin to cover them all in detail. Please feel free to ask the clergy and staff for additional information and resources (we have also included a list of references).
We are all here to help you in any way we can to make this day memorable as you begin your lives together. Please contact Diane Ferraro, Susan Neumann, or Janice Rosenblatt if there is anything we can do for you.
“ From every man and woman there emanates a light that reaches directly to heaven. And when two souls destined to be together find each other, their individual lights join as one, as a single shining beam issuing forth from their united spirit.” - The Baal Shem Tov
On your wedding day, you join the sweeping panorama of Jewish history in a unique way. In a very real sense, the future of our people is now entrusted to your care. Your love for one another given new expression through your marriage vows, makes you the newest link in a chain of tradition dating back over 5000 years.
Yours is a story that began in the Garden of Eden with the first couple, Adam and Eve. Your lives are interlocked with those of Abraham and Sarah, of Isaac and Rebekah, of Jacob, Leah and Rachel, and of all those who came after them.
What you are today is the cumulative product of layer upon layer of family tradition, ethnic folkways, religious practices, faith, and cultural history.
On your wedding day you become as one with a proud and noble people that has blessed the world in many ways. Its continuity is now passed down to you. The images of the future are yours to create as the new guarantors of creative Jewish life. May your life together bring you much love, good health, the sense of fulfillment that comes from a relationship of genuine mutual respect and commitment, and a sense of purpose as builders of a people commanded to “be a blessing.”
Excerpted from “The Jewish Wedding Book” by Rabbi Daniel B. Syme