Tomorrow, my husband and I will celebrate our eighth anniversary. Our wedding was, without a doubt, the happiest day of my life. (Yes, having children brings me at least as much joy as having a husband, but after two c-sections, I’d have to say the wedding wins for best day ever.)

I love Jewish weddings, and had fantasized about mine long before I met and fell in love with my non-Jewish husband. While deep down I still wanted a very traditional wedding, I also felt that it was disrespectful to the tradition to pretend that ours was a halachically acceptable union. So Keith and I set out, together, to create a ceremony (and now a life together) that preserved the joy, the history and the culture of Judaism, but was also something new and uniquely ours.

One aspect of that ceremony was our ketubah-like-document, the contract we wrote to articulate our commitment to one another. My friend Jaimie Cohn Sadeh created artwork that illustrates our mixed marriage – you know, because Keith is from the west coast, and I am from the east coast (a difference that has, incidentally, caused far greater strife in our marriage than our upbringings.)

Photo 133.jpg

Here’s what it says (more or less – I had a really hard time typing the Hebrew):

On the twenty first day of the month of July, in the year Two Thousand and Two, Keith Joseph Lepine, son of Carol and Paul, and Amy Beth Meltzer, daughter of Judith and Daniel, entered into a covenant of marriage, declaring:

I vow to place my relationship with you above all else – to be your lifelong friend and companion and to cherish the whole we have become.

I promise to honor the person you are – to see and treasure your gifts, support you in your life’s challenges, and encourage your growth. For you are the one to whom I have given my heart,

I will also honor the person you fell in love with – to care of my whole self and preserve my individual character. For I am the one to whom you have given your heart.

I pledge to create and sustain a complete and profound intimacy – to honestly share my deepest feelings and thoughts and enable you to do the some.

We will establish a loving home dedicated to peace, hope and respect for all people, always in thoughtful dialogue with the traditions of our ancestors.

In giving you this ring, I joyfully enter into this covenant.

I will love you until my last breath.

the invitation (I made it myself!)
wedding2.jpgthe “tisch”
the bedeken
wedding shtick
the shtick
I recognize that intermarriage is a terrifically controversial topic. I agree that it is one of many challenges to Jewish continuity. The irony, or perhaps the significance, of posting this on Tisha B’av is not lost on me. But this piece isn’t about the Jewish people. It’s about me, the man I fell in love with, and our wedding. Happy Anniversary, Keith. I will love you until my last breath.
More from Beliefnet and our partners
previous posts

As a public school child in the 70’s, my Valentine’s Day often ended in tears. I remember digging into my optimistically large brown paper bag in first grade to find only three envelopes, even though my mother had insisted I fill out mass-produced cards for every child in my class. “No one likes me!” I […]

One of the greatest privileges of being a kindergarten teacher in a Jewish day school is having the opportunity to teach children to recite the four questions. Unlike almost anything else I teach them about Jewish ritual, this is “real work.” The candles will get blessed, kiddush will be recited, and birkat hamazon chanted with […]

I’m not exaggerating. The bane of my Passover existence has been pareve baking. I cook a lot more meat during the holiday than I do the rest of the year, which means a lot more pareve desserts. Which has, up until now, usually meant margarine made from disgusting ingredients such as cottonseed oil. Last year, […]

I’m not a haggadah junkie. I know many Jews whose shelves are overflowing with numerous versions of the Haggadah – from the traditional Maxwell House to the not-so-traditional Santa Cruz – and whose seders are an amalgam of commentaries, poems, and (alas) responsive readings, from these dog-eared, post- it covered books. Maybe it’s because my […]