Monday, August 26, 2019

Do Justice, Love Goodness, Walk Modestly

Sunday morning, I officiated Emily and Elliot’s wedding at the Filter Building in Dallas, Texas. Here are the remarks I shared with them and their guests:

There’s nothing really instructive about how Emily and Elliot met for the first time. I mean, he was stacking Stella chalices, and she threw her phone at him. That’s just what a Wildcat does when she sees a Jayhawk, who later became a member of the Wolfpack. And, since it was at SXSW, they had to do their part in keeping Austin weird... 

One of the best things about weddings is that there is no right or wrong way to celebrate your wedding, and certainly there is no right or wrong way to plan it. So, the following should not be construed as criticism of any other couple. 

During our preparation for this ceremony, Emily and Elliot really talked a lot about the importance of the Jewish faith in their relationship, and in the family they are building together. That is not something that always comes up in wedding planning discussions. Clearly, this is an important aspect of their life together. And, if you know anything about Elliot’s professional and volunteer experiences, in the U.S. and Israel, you can understand why. This guy is one hardcore Jew! 

Now, here’s where a note of caution is in order: Sometimes people describe a person as religious or very religious, and you sense they are automatically equating that with good or very good person. You really shouldn’t equate the two. Look around you in today’s world, and you will see too many examples that will show you why. 

That’s why I love what Elliot says when he speaks about the core of his faith, what it means to him, and how it shapes the lives of this couple, this budding family: “I try and do the best I can and show my true faith in how I treat and love Emily, my family, and my friends…” 

In these words, but more importantly in how Emily and Elliot live their lives, they embody the true message of our faith, its daughter faiths and the faiths of all men and women of good will, as spoken more than 2,700 years ago by the Prophet Micah: “He has told you, O man, what is good, And what the Lord requires of you: Only to do justice And to love goodness, And to walk modestly with your God.”

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