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Wedding Vows

Family Law Discussion Forum

Wedding Vows

Postby Andino » Sat Dec 03, 2016 4:41 am

I noticed in an earlier answer you stated that one of the required elements of a wedding ceremony is the vow "With this ring you are consecrated to me according to the laws of Moses and Israel."

My fiance and I are getting married in November, by a Reform Rabbi. I am Jewish, she is not. But we are both committed to raising a Jewish home and raising Jewish children. My question is both for myself and my fiance.(1) What laws am I agreeing to be bound by with this vow? I certainly don't follow all of the laws of Moses and Israel today; am I agreeing to become Orthodox after the wedding?;(2) How comfortable should a non-Jew be with this vow? Do the laws require one to be Jewish?
Andino
 
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Wedding Vows

Postby Keith » Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:20 pm

I noticed in an earlier answer you stated that one of the required elements of a wedding ceremony is the vow "With this ring you are consecrated to me according to the laws of Moses and Israel."

My fiance and I are getting married in November, by a Reform Rabbi. I am Jewish, she is not. But we are both committed to raising a Jewish home and raising Jewish children. My question is both for myself and my fiance.(1) What laws am I agreeing to be bound by with this vow? I certainly don't follow all of the laws of Moses and Israel today; am I agreeing to become Orthodox after the wedding?;(2) How comfortable should a non-Jew be with this vow? Do the laws require one to be Jewish?
Keith
 
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Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:24 am

Wedding Vows

Postby Fabrizio » Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:13 pm

Hi Will,

Sorry to report this to you, but since your fiance is not Jewish, your desire to have Jewish children will not materialize if you marry her, even if she is, as you state, "committed to raising a Jewish home". But you didn't ask me that, did you. I don't want you to start rolling your eyes as I am starting to sound like your family who, without a doubt, tried very hard to talk you out of this, right?

So - to your question about the marriage vow. "With this ring you are concecrated to me according to the laws of Moses and Israel."

The vow will be spoken by you to her, and by her to you. From your standpoint, though you don't observe all the traditions today, you're still Jewish, and the vow will still apply to you - meaning that your marriage to her will be valid. By the virtue of the fact that you're Jewish, you have already agreed(or rather, your ancestors agreed on your behalf) that you will be following the laws of Moses and Israel. What you do each day is of your choosing; however, you are still obligated to perform the commandments, before as much as after the wedding, so nothing changes for you in terms of your need and obligation of observing the Jewish laws. For your fiance, the vow is not valid. For illustration purposes, think of someone asking you to swear that you're telling the truth by putting your hand on the New Testament. You might as well be putting your hand on a last week's issue of TV Guide  - because both books bear the same significance to you from the religious perspective, right? Same applies here. Because she is not Jewish, she is not a subject to the laws of Moses and Israel, so she can proclaim it in front of the congregation, or the entire world, and still she won't be held accountable for that vow.

How comfortable should you both be with this vow? About as comfortable as you should be if you were asked to be concecrated to her according to the laws set forth by a buddhist monk or a dalai lama. Totally comfortable if this is just ceremonial, and not comfortable at all if your desire is to have a Jewish wedding ceremony that's valid from a religious perspective.

Finally, to your last question - do the laws require one to be Jewish? Basically, in order for any vow to be valid, it must be taken by participants able(not only willing) to uphold it; if one is disqualified by the virtue of the inability to uphold the vow, one can argue that the vow itself will not be valid. So yes, being Jewish is a prerequisite for taking Jewish vows. Hope that helps, though I suspect it probably throws a monkey wrench into your plans, for which I am truly sorry. If I may make a suggestion - your marriage will definitely be valid in the eyes of the American law if you are married by the Justice of the peace in US court, so perhaps that's an option to consider. since you're clearly committed to the relationship with your fiance.

Eli
Fabrizio
 
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