Can gay friendliness boost Israel’s image?
By Dina Kraft • June 16, 2009
TEL AVIV (JTA) -- The sun was just beginning to sink into the Mediterranean as the couples took their places under the fluttering wedding canopy: three sets of brides and two sets of grooms.
In a nod to Jewish wedding tradition, a member of each couple stepped on a glass to seal the deal. Except in this wedding the centuries-old words that finalize the Jewish marriage contract were uttered with a twist: “If I forget thee, O Tel Aviv, let my right hand wither, let my tongue cleave to my palate if I do not remember you, if I do not set Tel Aviv above my highest joy."
Replacing the traditional “Jerusalem” with “Tel Aviv” was a pronounced statement in Israel’s first municipal gay wedding ceremony and reflected the fact that it only could have taken place in Tel Aviv, the most open and liberal of Israel’s cities.