We are a secular couple, in Chapter Two of Relationships and Family.
At one point we decided we wanted to get married, despite quite a few raised eyebrows around (they did not understand why we needed this again).
My partner opposed the Chief Rabbinate’s involvement in the process, due to a combination of ideological gaps and jarring encounters with the rabbinate in the past. I am secular (agnostic, not an atheist) though, but I have a warm place in my heart for religion due to a close connection with my grandfather who was religious. From an emotional point of view, I am less attached to the postmodern alternatives of the institution of marriage even though they are not inappropriate in my eyes. For me there is added value to a wedding insofar as it reflects its original content, i.e. the religious content. The legal situation in the country, according to which a Jewish marriage not by the rabbinate is prohibited by law has led us to Mavoi Satum- a dead end (literally). More than that, the understanding that we can accept recognition of marriage religiously and legally without the mediation of the rabbinate, only if the wedding takes place outside the borders of the Jewish state is absurd. That is why for us Mavoi Satum was precisely the solution. Along the way, we were exposed to other important issues such as conditional Kiddushin and gave expression to them in the process, in addition to the financial agreement we made at the beginning of our common journey.
So we were religiously married by an Orthodox rabbi at a private wedding. The guidance of Mavoi Satum was sensitive and generous. After about a year, we ‘were forced’ to enjoy an entire weekend in Cyprus, so that we could also receive official state recognition of our marriage, and today we are Jewish and Israeli married, without going through the rabbinate. If it were not possible to marry in a Halachik private marriage, we probably would not be married in the Jewish sense. By the way, we already have a child …