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God is Always Part of Our Story

10/19/2021 11:48:45 AM


Beth Schafer

One of the things that is most striking about being back in the book of Genesis is how it centers on families-couples in particular. When we pray the words of Avot v’Imahot in every prayer service, we are reminded how God had a unique relationship with each generation introduced in Genesis: Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob, Leah and Rachel. Each couple had its own strengths and challenges, and for each, God was present and part of their stories.

As I prepare to get married in a week, I can’t help but reflect on these Genesis couples to see some of the lessons (good or bad) we might learn from them. From Abraham and Sarah we learn about hospitality and how one’s tent should be open to all whose journeys bring them to our doorstep. From Isaac and Rebecca we learn about compassion which was a quality that Rebecca demonstrated making her a great choice as Isaac’s spouse. To greet one’s spouse with compassion, patience and understanding makes for a strong marriage that can sustain difficult times. From Jacob, Leah and Rachel, we learn how sensitive parent-child relationships are and that showing favoritism can damage the family unit.

I love that each of these families is seen complete with their amazing qualities as well as their imperfections. It is heartening to know that as Rebecca and I enter our marriage, we don’t need to be perfect but should strive to bring our greatest gifts to one another to help our bond last for eternity.

There is something that is not seen in the Book of Genesis and that is a family centered around a gay couple. But, just as God has met each generation of Jews where they are, so has God with us. You see, it is through, you, our beloved Sinai community, by your acceptance and celebration of us, that we feel God’s presence. Thank you all for making this magical time in our lives filled with the blessing of our tradition. May all couples and families, original, blended or other get to know the joy that we have known having you in our lives.

With much gratitude and wishes for Shabbat Shalom,


Wed, December 1 2021 27 Kislev 5782