Mixed Marriages

Jun 30, 2015

A Muslim marrying a Jewess – that doesn’t happen every day!

Tempting as it is to devote this blog to a discussion of inter-racial or inter-religious harmony, that’s not really my subject, wonderful as it might be.

Mixed marriages are more up my professional street, though.

Be that as it may, I was delighted to contribute (in a tiny way) to this utopian ideal by conducting a wedding blessing very recently at a mixed marriage. It was, indeed, the union of Muslim and Jewess.

Neither one of the couple was religious, in fact. The Muslim wanted no part in any religious ceremony (although he did agree to participate in our blessing, as long as he didn’t have to say anything); the Jewess agreed to it mostly to satisfy her parents.

I had worked with M.’s mother (although M. was given the opportunity to ask for amendments etc.) to create a suitable blessing ceremony. Essentially, it would consist of a number of blessings in English (a few in Hebrew), the traditional “Seven Blessings” in both languages, and some wine. Thus, a mix of traditional and modern.

On the day, I sought out the groom, who, not unreasonably, was a bit nervous about the whole event, and put him at ease. We had a chat, and I told him what was going to happen, and that he didn’t need to worry about anything.

After the legal marriage (which took place in the same hall), I took over. I threw in a couple of impromptu little jokes at the start, so the couple could feel more comfortable, and made a few guests smile with my introductory remarks.

I then went through the blessings, as agreed, but what was nice was how the groom visibly relaxed – even to the extent of cracking a joke himself when it came to the wine!

The blessing ceremony only lasted 10 minutes, at most, but it was obviously appreciated and I felt very pleased, though humble too, because of the role I had been able to play in the union of two lovely people of potentially clashing cultures.

May they be a beacon for others – and may they find true happiness!