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Pink Marble

Wedding ceremonies

 "Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it" (Song of Solomon, Ch. 8:7) 

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For a link to a wedding video with Rabbi Or Zohar

Many couples in Israel are interested in a traditional Jewish wedding, and at the same time an egalitarian and pluralistic wedding that conforms to their worldview.


Therefore, they choose not to marry in an Orthodox wedding but in an alternative wedding ceremony: a Reform wedding, a Conservative wedding, or a secular wedding.


In doing so, they shape the content of the ceremony on the most important day of their lives in a way that suits their spiritual and cultural value world.

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Freedom of Choice Concerning Reform Marriages

About a Reform wedding

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Recognition of Alternative Matrimonial Ceremonies in Israel

Since such marriages are not, as of yet, recognized by state authorities in Israel, these couples complete their formal marriage procedure through civil marriage abroad, which is recognized by Israel's Ministry of Interior or, alternatively, through a legal agreement regarding relationship as a couple.

Moreover, many couples choose to sign a financial agreement [akin to a pre-nuptial agreement] in order to anchor the economic aspect of the relationship between the two individuals of which the couple is comprised.  

A wedding is an association that has several aspects, including spiritual and emotional, legal and economic, and it is very important to arrange all these aspects between the spouses before the marriage ceremony occurs. 

A Reform Wedding Ceremony

The choice of a reform marriage is a choice of a traditional Jewish ceremony which is equal, open, pleasant and enabling, as well.  

The ceremony, as is its preparation process, is conducted by qualified Reform rabbis who possess the knowledge, skill and experience needed in order to perform marriage ceremonies that have been adapted to contemporary Israeli reality.

The process includes initial counseling, joint study of the marriage ceremony's components and designing a ceremony that suits the couple's worldview, style, spirit and heart's desires.

The Rabbis of the Reform movement in Israel hold such ceremonies when both spouses are Jewish. They do marry same-sex couples. In cases where one of the spouses is not a Jew, it is possible to undergo a conversion (a Reform conversion that is recognized by the Ministry of the Interior) prior to the wedding.

The Reform Wedding

The choice of a Reform wedding ceremony enables the betrothed to study the various components of the Jewish kiddushin ceremony: the ketubah (a written document containing mutual and co-equal commitments), coming under the canopy, the engagement blessings, exchanging rings, the seven blessings and the ceremonial breaking of a glass.

Thus, the couple receives rabbinical advice that guides them to make informed decisions about the nature and style of the most appropriate ceremony for them: Be it either a concise or a slightly more elaborate ritual under the canopy; either a musical ceremony combined with singing and playing music or a more conservative one; a ceremony under the canopy that included personal blessings either by the couple or by family members and close friends, or any other choice in the spirit of a generational tradition together with the Jewish renewal spirit of today's Israel.

Beyond the personal experience, the choice of a Reform wedding also makes a value statement in relation to the collective congregation that is Israel, made in the spirit of tikkun olam (world mending). Such choice is a "grassroot vote" which is made by young couples who desire an Israeli society that has the markings of Judaism and its traditions, however, without coercion of strict halakhic views and the subjugation imposed by a rigid (some would say calcified) rabbinical establishment. At a Reform wedding, not only the couple but also the family, friends and all who are present at the event, experience – at times for the first time in their lives – a Jewish spiritual event where one can interlink with tradition where a values and cultural dissonance is absent. Indeed, quite to the contrary, a tie tends to be formed.  

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Your Wedding - Another Step Towards Mending Israeli Society

The choice of Rabbi Or Zohar to conduct a wedding ceremony under the canopy constitutes a choice of a traditional and spiritual approach to the consecrating ceremony, which entails the choosing of a Reform approach that combines egalitarian, open, creative and liberal notions. Rabbi Or Zohar would be happy to avail those betrothed who are interested, of his accumulated experience as a kiddushin arranger; and, to the extent desired and necessary, also his experience as a singer under the canopy, while playing guitar. Rabbi Or Zohar is also happy to present his experience and training as a spiritual guide for couples who are interested in going deeper into the process of preparing their nuptial covenant, as an initiation of both personal and joint transformation.

It is important to remember that the wedding ceremony is a sacred, one-time moment, in which two souls bind together their spirit, soul, body and future together, so it is worth investing time and thought in planning the ceremony.

A Reform wedding with Rabbi Or Zohar

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A Letter from Reut and Nadav after Their Wedding

"We wish to tell you that the ceremony received praise from all, everyone we spoke to said it was so very special and exciting.
"We wanted to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the guidance and support throughout. As you know, the two of us come from different traditions and different views about Judaism (in fact, about religion in general). The manner by which the ceremony should be arranged had presented us with a distinct challenge, even contributed to the postponement of the wedding in the past three years, we had evaded dealing seriously with that crucial question.
"You were the right person in the right place and at the right time. You managed to accomplish what was practically impossible for us to do, by devising a formula for the ceremony that would be meaningful, pleasant and satisfying for all involved as well as our many guests. I can attest that I never imagined I would stand with a tallit and a yarmulka and bond with the texts so whole-heartly.  I am convinced that my (new) wife would verify my attestation. … And, besides, we greatly enjoyed hearing you sing :)
"You have contributed to making the wedding a memorable event, for which we are grateful.
"We wish you all the best in the world and that you will continue to make as many couples and their guests as happy as possible.
"Wishing that you 'll be signed and sealed in the book of life (a traditional greeting used on Yom Kippur) and have a light fast,
"Reut and Nadav

"Here is a picture from the wedding ceremony, as a souvenir… "


To watch the wedding video with Rabbi Or Zohar, click the button

For more details about a wedding with Rabbi Or Zohar, send an inquiry

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