Not-So-Jewish Marriage

The headline that the JT chose for its June 28 cover story, “Something Old, Something New,” comes from an Old English (not Jewish) rhyme. If you had wanted it to sound “Jewish,” perhaps you could have paraphrased it to say, “Something Holy, Something True.” But alas, there really was not much in the article that was either holy or true to the beautiful, sacred laws, customs and traditions of a truly Jewish wedding.

I have not yet seen the exhibit at the Jewish Museum of Maryland, but I hope it is more “Jewish” than the JT’s article suggests. Elopement, according to Wikipedia, has its origins in the United Kingdom and the Philippines. There may be Jews who elope, but that doesn’t make elopement Jewish. Wedding cakes derive from ancient Rome; toppers are a 20th-century invention of affluent not-necessarily-Jewish American society. And although there is, to say the least, nothing Jewish about same-sex marriage, the JT devoted approximately 20 percent of the article to what is implied to be a “modern Jewish wedding.”

There is so much that can be written about Jewish marriage — a marriage that celebrates the sanctity and joy of a Jewish man and woman beginning to build a life and a home based on Jewish values, laws, customs and traditions. The JT’s article may have been about “the evolution of … marriage” but sadly not about a uniquely Jewish marriage.

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