Rabbi Perlin will not officiate. She puts her foot down on direct application of halachic law. Unless I convert, we are an interfiath couple, and thus she will not perform the wedding.
This news could not have come at a worse time for Evelyn and I, as we had been in the middle of a two-day conversation about the role of religion in our lives, and were doing some deep soul searching. I had expressed the two parts of religion that interest me: philosophy and awe. And frankly, the Jewish sabbath services I have attended inspired neither in me. There are two other issues I have with Judaism. I find the religion to be over defensive. It has a hard time allowing other religions near it, and the very thought of a Jewish child encountering another faith is a fearsome concept. I wish Jews were less concerned about mixing in with the world, and more willing to share space with religious wanderers like me. The second issue I have is that the liturgy is steeped in the language of ancestry. The cultural identity is fused into the Jewish philosophy, and the Jewish faith is forever bonded to the Jewish ethnicity. When I hear "I am your God, who led you out of Egypt and out of bondage," I always think Speak for yourselves!
Perlin’s rejection left us shocked, and we were pretty melancholy for a few days. Soon we’ll start sending emails to other candidate Rabbis in the area, and start checking out some other local synagogues. And we really need to start getting a head count for guests!
Now for the good news,
I went to a Baltimore Orioles game on Wendesday, and it was amusing. It was a much more pleasant experience than the Yankees game I went to in ’03, due to the smaller scale and modest atmosphere of Baltimore’s franchise. The two most interesting things were the small plaques in the ground commemorating the landing spots of all balls that were hit out of the park, and Chris’s habit of speaking the players’ names backwards. One fan next to us started correcting our pronunciation. The Orioles triumphed over the Mariners 3-1, and the game was finished in less than two hours, which is a real rarity.
I enjoyed walking to work today, and hope to do so as long as the weather is decent. It’s only a 45 minute walk from my apartment, and it is nice and convenient even if it doesn’t really save any gas. It’s nice to not have to fight with traffic and parking. I feel carefree when I travel overland by foot.