Alternative Sheva Brachot from the Great American Lesbian Jewish Wedding

A friend asked if the alternative sheva brachot I created for our wedding a couple years ago were still online somewhere. Turns out, no! So here again are our blessings in all their glory. We had the traditional brachot (well as traditional as they could be for an awesome lesbian wedding) sung by our cantor and we had dear friends read these.

1. Blessed are those who find joy in all of creation

From Wendell Berry’s The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.

Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.

Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable.

Be joyful though you have considered all the facts.

2. Blessed is humanity in all its infinite variations

Human Family by Maya Angelou

I note the obvious differences in the human family.
Some of us are serious, some thrive on comedy.

Some declare their lives are lived as true profundity,
and others claim they really live the real reality.

The variety of our skin tones can confuse, bemuse, delight,
brown and pink and beige and purple, tan and blue and white.

I’ve sailed upon the seven seas and stopped in every land.
I’ve seen the wonders of the world, not yet one common man.

I know ten thousand women called Jane and Mary Jane,
I’ve not seen any two who really were the same.

Mirror twins are different although their features jibe,
and lovers think quite different thoughts while lying side by side.

We love and lose in China, we weep on England’s moors,
and laugh and moan in Guinea, and thrive on Spanish shores.

We seek success in Finland, are born and die in Maine.
In minor ways we differ, in major we’re the same.

I note the obvious differences between each sort and type,
but we are more alike, my friends than we are unalike.

3. Blessed are those who see each other completely and love each other entirely.

A teaching from Buffy the Vampire Slayer:

When I say, ‘I love you’ it has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I’ve seen your kindness and your strength. I’ve seen the best and the worst of you. And I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You’re the one.

4. Blessed are they who embrace their community.

From the Divine, source of all energy, we call forth an abundance of love to envelop this couple. We highlight today joy and gladness, delight and cheer, love and harmony, peace and companionship. May we all witness the day when the dominant sounds through the world will be these sounds of peace, happiness, the voices of lovers, the sounds of feasting and singing.

5. Blessed are those who seek to real love.

Adapted From The Velveteen Rabbit

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit.

Said the Skin Horse: “It’s a thing that happens to you. When you are loved for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loved, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“It doesn’t happen all at once. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

6. Blessed are partners divinely joined.

From Sir Hugh Walpole

The most wonderful of all things in life is the discovery of another human being with whom one’s relationship has a growing depth, beauty and joy as the years increase.

This inner progressiveness of love between two human beings is a most marvellous thing; it cannot be found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It is a sort of divine accident, and the most wonderful of all things in life.

7. Blessed are those who find beauty and wonder in science.

From our teachers Calvin and Hobbes

Calvin: Hobbes, What’s it like to fall in love?

Hobbes: Well… say the object of your affection walks by…

Calvin: Yeah?

Hobbes: First, your heart falls into your stomach and splashes your innards. All the moisture makes you sweat profusely. This condensation shorts the circuits to your brain and you get all woozy. When your brain burns out altogether, your mouth disengages and you babble like a cretin until she leaves.

Calvin: THAT’S LOVE?!?

Hobbes: Medically speaking.

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