Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sacred and Set Apart

Saturday evening (5/9) I officiated Barbara and Sagi’s wedding ceremony at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas, Texas. Here are the remarks I shared with them and their guests:

The essence of a Jewish wedding is the giving of the ring. In just a few moments, Sagi will put a ring on Barbara's finger, and say harei aht mikoodeshet lee, behold you are consecrated to me.

Now, every word in Hebrew has a root, with various additions to the root making up different connotations and meanings of that root. The root of the word mikoodeshet, is commonly translated as "to make holy", "to make sacred", "to consecrate". However, when we take a deeper more precise look, we discover that really the meaning of this root is "to set apart". In fact, because of this, it may be used to describe BOTH the holy, as well as the profane. Even though they are opposites, both are set apart.

The various meanings of this word are really apt in describing Barbara and Sagi's unique relationship. Barbara says, "This is not just a formality for me. The ceremony and our marriage will be sacred." Sagi says, "I take nothing for granted and I want to consecrate our love with this ceremony." The point they are making is that these are not only words; this is not just a ceremony. Their relationship is sacred, their love is consecrated.

Why do they feel this way? This relationship is set apart; this relationship is different. As Barbara says, "This was not the way I was before... I never imagined that I would one day have a ceremony and wear a white dress. Sagi has changed my heart, that’s the only way I can explain it." Sagi states that meeting Barbara he, "knew it was a once in a lifetime thing." He says that, "Looking at the past... I was always just with one foot in previous relationships... Now with Barbara... I’m all the way in..."

What Barbara and Sagi illustrate in this is that a marriage CAN just mean that this person is set aside from all other people. This legalistic act CAN be just that and no more. Ironically, it can be anything but sacred.

But then, there is that other level, where marriage CAN be something ineffable, CAN be something transcendent. This type of marriage is truly set apart.  IT is sacred, IT is consecrated. With it, life itself can be too. THIS is what Barbara and Sagi have. We should all be so lucky.

No comments:

Post a Comment