The Cycles of Life

Weddings may be the events that take the most planning, but the rest of our lives deserve honor and consideration, too.  I enjoy helping families and individuals sanctify the most special moments of their lives.  These events may include naming a new baby, celebrating a bar/bat mitzvah, an anniversary, renewal of wedding vows, or when needed, a funeral or memorial service.  For each of these kind of events, I will work with you to make it special and unique for you and your loved ones.

Baby Namings and Brit Milah (Circumcision)

The Midrash, in Kohelet Rabba, presents a special perspective on names:  

A person has three names:
one that he is called by his father and mother;
one that people know him by,
and one that he acquires for himself

When a new child comes into the world, he or she blesses us with the joy of new possibilities.  I can help you create a unique, personal ceremony for your baby.  It can be simple or more involved, and if you like, include readings for parents, grandparents, friends, godparents, etc.  Together, the child’s first experience with any sized crowd should be filled with love and tenderness.  I can also help you choose the right Hebrew name for your child, and for boys, put you in contact with a mohel.

Funerals and Memorial Services

Perhaps there is no more important time to have a relationship with a rabbi than at the end of the life of a loved one.  I want to learn about the person who passed away, and feel as if I know him or her.  I’ll take the time needed to listen to their stories and your stories, and try to re-create the story of his or her life.  I’ll also help walk you through the logistics as needed of speaking with the funeral home.  At this most difficult time, I’ll help you and your family celebrate the life of the one you lost, keeping them alive in your heart.  You may want a traditional Jewish burial.  At the same time, many people choose to remember their loved ones in ways that are personal in different ways.  I can help you think of creative ways that are specific to your wishes. 



Mourners at this service chose to write notes to their loved one on the casket before interment.



Renewal of Wedding Vows

This is becoming a very popular event for many reasons.  Some people want to commemorate a “big” number, like 25, 30, 40, 50 or 60th anniversary.  Some may have had a civil wedding because one partner wasn’t Jewish and you couldn’t find a rabbi at the time who would officiate interfaith weddings.  This a a great way to have the chuppah you always wanted.  It can be a special treat when children or grandchildren participate.  I’ll personalize a ceremony that will honor your past and your future.

One of the most special ceremonies I officiated was the renewal of wedding vows for my own parents, around their 47th anniversary.  People said, “Why don’t you wait till 50?”  They responded, “Why wait!?”

My Mom and Dad - first wedding: 1956. Renewed in 2003 and still going strong!

My Mom and Dad – first wedding: 1956. Renewed in 2003 and still going strong!