What elements of a Jewish wedding cannot be used in an interfaith ceremony?

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This topic has 2 voices, contains 2 replies, and was last updated by  Cantor Debbi Ballard 7 years ago.

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February 22, 2011 at 1:57 am #5507

Susan Schanerman

I’m just starting out as a marriage officiant and I know that I’ll be asked to perform interfaith weddings.  I want to be sensitive to Jewish law – does anyone know what words I cannot pronounce during an interfaith wedding?

February 22, 2011 at 6:12 pm #5508

Rabbi Lev Baesh

Susan, some rabbis suggest that you not use Hare At… because it speaks a responsibility to the mitzvot. Many replace that ring language with Ani L’dodi… Other than that, most rabbis officiating interfaith weddings make their own distinctions about what is possible and what is out of bounds. Couples can find interfaith ketubot, make chuppahs, break glasses, and use all sorts of Jewish blessings.  You can look at our interfaith wedding resource guide for some examples of traditional and alternative readings, blessings, and rituals.  Your best bet is to review the materials there and suggest the same to the couple and work out their ceremony with them as to what makes most sense for who they are as a couple in the context of their families and community.

May 3, 2011 at 2:16 pm #5768

Cantor Debbi Ballard

In reference to avoiding the Harey At portion of the ring exchange, as Rabbi Lev has mentioned, I adapt it for my Interfaith couples, speaking the phrase:
By this ring, you are consecrated to me, in accordance with the laws and traditions of our faiths.

This is instead of …traditions of Moses and Israel (the English translated version of Harey At)

I personally don’t believe there is anything you can’t  use – many couples adapt for themselves however it works for them.  Your wedding should be exactly what you want it to be!

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