A couple came to me for their interfaith wedding, who had researched and rejected many rabbis they interviewed. They had known each other many years and were living in Manhattan. She had grown up in Israel and he was from the States raised in the Christian faith. They had definite ideas about the ceremony and service and we set about fashioning the service in my apartment during a number of meetings. They had decided to marry on the Chelsea Pier in New York.
It struck me after the second or third meeting that aside from the structure of the Jewish wedding ceremony that had certain prayers and rituals that they were going to teach me some things about poetry and vows that I hadn’t known. Sure enough they came up with three different English translations of the Seven Wedding Blessings (Sheva Brachot) and went with the most poetic and beautiful one
They had a number of friends who were participating in the service and read poems by Denise Levertov, a modern poet and one by Ann Bradstreet who went back to the colonial days. The most creative reading was by A.A. Milne “Us Two” which of course involved Pooh. The last few lines of this were beautiful and relevant to the wedding and the two people getting married. They were “It isn’t much fun for One, but Two Can stick together,” says Pooh, says he. That’s how it is,” says Pooh.
I admired the ease at which this couple related to one another. They supported each other and had a kindness and compassion that I rarely find. It is as if the words of this poem and their joy in being together were one.