Sunday, February 1, 2015

Why do non-Orthodox rabbis marry Jewish same-sex couples but not interfaith same-sex couples

NY Times  When Julia Spiegelman and Erina Donnelly, two teachers who met as undergraduates at Bryn Mawr, became engaged, they were looking forward to planning a wedding that included elements from both of their religions.

Ms. Spiegelman grew up attending a Reform synagogue in Andover, Mass., and Ms. Donnelly was raised a Roman Catholic.

The two women attend Jewish and Catholic services together, and they had hoped to find marriage officiants from both religions, which they did not think would be difficult. Most non-Orthodox rabbis officiate same-sex weddings, and while they could not expect to find a Catholic priest to officiate, they planned to ask a layperson from Dignity/Boston, a community of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics, to take part.

So one Sabbath morning, they approached the rabbi at their Boston-area synagogue, a liberal congregation unaffiliated with any particular branch of Judaism.
“We were really confident it was going to be this rabbi,” Ms. Spiegelman, 29, said, sitting in the condominium that she and her fiancée recently bought.

But the rabbi told them that she could not perform the wedding. The problem was not that Ms. Spiegelman wanted to marry a woman — it was that she wanted to marry a non-Jewish woman.
“In retrospect, I can’t believe we were so naïve and trusting,” Ms. Spiegelman said. “We were so excited to tell her we were engaged and wanted her to do our wedding, and she was like, ‘I don’t do that.’ ”

“That was a real blow to us,” she said as their cat, Laurie (named for the “Little Women” character), moved about the cozy living room. “We’d understood that she perceived our relationship as legitimate and would see our marriage as legitimate. And it really hurt us to be rejected for that reason.”

To many, the rabbi’s refusal seems paradoxical. If clergy can embrace same-sex marriage, why can’t they marry a Jew to a non-Jew? But for Jews, troubled by declining levels of affiliation, the concern about interfaith marriage is strong. A majority of Jews now marry outside the faith, and, according to the major 2013 Pew survey of Jewish identification, millennials with one Jewish parent are far less likely to consider themselves Jewish than those with two Jewish parents.[...]


  1. Gosh, the answer the easy.
    Chrisianity is a group of religions which share the common belief that Yeshu haNotzri is the so-called son of God and the saviour of mankind.
    Non-religious Jews believe that the various "streams" of Judaism are a group of religions which share the common belief that he isn't.
    So yes, a Reform rabbi who has tossed out Torah will marry an all-Jewish lesbian couple but will refuse to do an interfaith one because it violates the only Jewish principle he/she/it still has.

  2. It seems from this article that this particular "rabbi" does not do interfaith weddings.

    So what's the question?

  3. Asher pihem diber shavFebruary 1, 2015 at 11:26 PM

    Just because they bend/break the rules, doesn't mean they are less judgemental !! Why is it that Frum people will do kiruv, and then not accept the kids of these same Baalei Teshuva into Yeshiva ? Why is it that people will do kiruv, and then not let their own children marry the sons and daughters of these same Balei Teshuva ?

  4. Posts like this should come with a caution sign. "WARNING: Contains Explicitly Absurd Content".

  5. Very amusing, or it would be if it were not so pathetic.

  6. Oh that's also easy: hypocrisy.

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