Updated: Sep 18
I am not transactional by nature. I’ve always been a relationship builder, and this has been throughout my whole life and especially in my career as a Cantor. When I meet brides and grooms, who are speaking with me about the possibility of officiating their upcoming wedding ceremony, I tell them that I don’t see myself as this person for hire who will show up the day of the wedding that will never be seen again. Not only am I there for the bride and groom every step of the way from the time that we meet until their Jewish wedding ceremony, but I can and want to be the go to person that the couple comes to with any questions about Judaism and to help them through all life cycle events going forward. I’m proud to say that I am now beginning to officiate weddings of people that I taught for their bar and bat mitzvah ceremonies years ago. Sure -makes me feel a little bit old, but I feel so blessed and so honored that Bar and Bat Mitzvah Students who graduated have stayed in contact with me over the years and then when it came time for them to get married, reached out to me to be the one to marry them. And what a blessing it is that I am also now starting to perform Baby Naming ceremonies for couples that I have married, who I also performed their bar and bat mitzvah ceremonies years ago. It is the true cycle of life and it’s so meaningful when I’m performing a Baby Naming ceremony to learn who the couple is naming their little girl after. In the Jewish tradition, we name our little babies in Hebrew, after our loved ones who have passed away who are no longer with us. These are people who, the couple hopes have qualities and attributes that will live on and their little girl. Recently, I performed a baby naming ceremony for a couple that I married recently about two years ago, and they were naming their little girl after the brides grandmother, who is a Holocaust survivor. she had to survive in the forest and eat leaves and berries, but she didn’t even know if they were edible or poison, but she was so starving and she took a chance. She managed to survive the war and escape with her life and this wedding couple who had this little baby girl wanted their daughter to have the qualities and attributes of heroism and courage and survival.
I do feel very blessed being a Cantor who is there for people who call upon me for good occasions and also some sad occasions as well.
I would never imagine that I’d be standing giving a little girl her Jewish name whose parents I married and whose parents I officiated and taught Bar Mitzvah to over 20 years ago but this is my reality and one that I am so thankful and grateful.