“I have a lot of pictures from the wedding last night scrolling through my mind.
Above all, the Hasidic  songs and dances from after the Chuppah  are replaying in my head.
An exciting group of religious LGBT couples, in skullcaps, skirts, and pants, singing the songs that accompany every religious wedding. They’re embracing each other, dancing and happy. They’re not just ‘wanting’ to be a part of the religious community – they *are* the religious community.
Their songs and dances were imbued with an enthusiasm that only religious people have. It was so moving. I thanked God for putting me there, and thanked ‘HaVayah – an Israeli Ceremony’  that created the platform and the possibility for every couple in the State of Israel to declare their love, and establish a home in Israel.
As in Jerusalem today,
May there be a lot of joy in Israel, and few sighs from Israel,
May there be much good news in Israel, may many be saved in Israel,
May there be many consolations in Israel.”
0202 Editor’s Note:
 Hasidism is a movement within Judaism founded by Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760), stressing service of G-d through the mystical in addition to the legalistic dimension of Judaism. Hasidic movements emphasize the power of joy, love of G-d and one’s fellow, emotional involvement in prayer, finding Godliness in every aspect of one’s existence, and the elevation of the material universe. As a result of the philosophy, Hasidic weddings include a lot of ritual song and dance.
 The Chuppah is a Jewish ritual wedding canopy. Jewish couples stand beneath the canopy, which symbolizes their future home, during the wedding ceremony.
 The religious authority for Jewish marriages performed in Israel is the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and the Rabbinical courts. These are the only entities authorized to perform weddings in Israel. They are prohibited from marrying couples unless both partners share the same religion, and do not conduct same sex-marriages. However, civil, interfaith and same-sex marriages performed abroad are recognized by the State of Israel. ‘Havaya’ helps Jewish couples to marry outside of the Rabbinate system in Israel. They organizing wedding ceremonies for couples who are recognized as common-law couples.
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