Central Factors Of Examined

A Triple Wedding. A Defiant Protest.

Yet there we were, packed into the pews of an Upper East Side synagogue, crying as the newlyweds exchanged vows and smashed glasses under the huppah. Our tears were not just for the couples’ obvious love for each other, as palpable as it was, or because the brides looked stunning in gowns given to them by Kleinfeld Bridal, though they did. Those tears were also because the ritual was more than a wedding: It was a moment of proud political defiance for three couples who can’t or won’t marry in the state they call home. It just so happens that the state is the world’s only Jewish one. In Israel, there is no civil marriage. All elements of religious life — from the kosher certification of food to conversion to circumcisions, marriages and burials — are controlled by the rabbinate. In Israel, then, the official religion is not just Judaism. It’s Orthodoxy. The wedding ceremony for the three couples. Credit Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times Thus Israel’s religious monopoly presents an immovable obstacle for people like Ori Berwald Shaer and Alona Livneh, L.G.B.T.

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