Rabbi Sara Shendelman officiates at spiritual, interfaith, non-denominational, gay Jewish and diversely unique weddings. Providing marriage, spiritual, cultural & religious counseling, inspired lifecycle events, cantorial services, rabbinic leadership at Shabbat & Festival services, all occasion ritual creation, Bar & Bat Mitzvah tutoring, grief counseling, funerals, conversion assistance, mentoring, advocating & teaching in a compassionate, joyous, literally harmonious and personal atmosphere.

for your lesbian, gay, Jewish and/or interfaith wedding, celebrations, rituals and spiritual guidance by
PHONE: (510) 644-2956
~~~~~~~~~ or ~~~~~~~~~

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Passover Blessings

As we try to leave our slaveries behind, let us be aware that it is love that makes more love. That our freedom is a hard won thing made of right thinking and right action. We cannot just study the Torah, we must embrace the idea of loving our neighbor as ourselves in the real world. If we make a mistake, we must make amends; make teshuva. Plowing ahead, when we have destroyed people and things behind us, is not acceptable. If we are to do Tikkun Olam, to try and heal the world, singing and dancing will not be enough. We have to do the hard work of communicating well, of listening and seeing the pain of those around us. We have to honor those who have come before. If we do not have each other, who do we have? What is our work worth? All the poetic chat about the glorious dawning of a new day is but as cheap perfume - if there is no heart to reach out to a person in pain, there is no heart.

May we all, here at the narrow places trying to leave slavery, find the courage to blaze a new trail. May the love and compassion that fill us, rule our lives and liberate our hands and our lips. May we go forth to right action, and may this year's matza truly be the Bread of Freedom.

I bless you with really crossing over this Pesach.
You have carried so much and so many across the sea.
Your love is the raft and your brilliance is the sail.
God's love for you is the wind.
May you be filled with joy for the Tikkun Olam you have created and continue to create.
It is my blessing and great privilege to receive some of your joy and light.
I thank the Source of All Being for your presence on my journey.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Appreciative and thoughtful communication

Dear Rabbi Shendelman,

Thank you so much for your understanding, thoughtful and kind
response. It honestly means so much to me that you are not shaming me
for wanting to make changes. That type of love and support is what
has drawn me to Judaism in the past.
Your compassion and
generosity of spirit were wonderfully calming for us. Michael and I were
very impressed and are talking about what to do.
I have looked at your website,
and it is apparent to me why so many couples rave about you!

Sincerely, Joy

Dear Joy,

...it was really a pleasure sitting with you last night and
I am very happy to hear that it was helpful.

The main thing I want to tell you is that you are doing your
work with this enormous life transition very well. You are right in knowing
that this is very important and not a time to, 'just go along.'

Your wedding is a magic moment that deepens your relationship and
reaches toward the heavens. The blessings do magic. The connection you
make with each other during the ceremony itself, is hugely important.
That is why I am so focused in the ceremony on making sure that the
connection is made.

It matters to both families that they both feel honored and taken
into account in the ritual. Life long loves and life long resentments can begin
at a wedding, and also any time the whole family comes together: Bar Mitzvahs,
Consecrations, Confirmations, and Funerals. Your instincts are right, even if this
just turns out to be an exploration. It opens your hearts to each other even wider.

I feel such a strong, loving, compassionate bond between you. I know you
will have a brilliant life together. And also, the best marriages are when both
people consider their partner's needs slightly ahead of their own. I saw this
happening with you both last night.

I bless you with clarity, compassion, love, joy and peace.
And, of course, the wedding of your dreams.

Rabbi Sara
for your Jewish or interfaith wedding, celebrations, rituals and spiritual guidance by
PHONE: (510) 644-2956
~~~~~~~~~ or ~~~~~~~~~