Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Matters of Precedence

OK, here's an etiquette issue:

My wedding officiant, Rabbi Bruriah, is of an age I will hazily place as early to mid forties. In attendence at the wedding, hopefully, will be the rabbi of my old synagogue, who is a charming eightysomething Yeky with a cute accent, and his lovely wife, also the darlin' priest from my father's parish, who is in his late fifties.

Given the roughly equal religious ranks of these person, who gets introduced to whom? I assume that, between the men, age indicates the order of precedence, so Father gets introduced to Rabbi Sr., and to his wife, whom I am forbidden to call 'Rebbetzin'.

Between rabbis, and between Rabbi B. and Father, who gets presented to whom? Rabbi Sr. is, after all, a rabbi of great authority, and twice Rabbi B.'s age, but according to Emily Post, a gentleman is ALWAYS presented to a lady, regardless of seniority. However, some sites I've looked at seem to indicate that deference is not based on gender in a business setting. This is my wedding, not a business setting, but they have a collegial relationship.

Is this important? This is not important. But inquiring minds want to know. Is there anything in Gemara about who gets presented to whom when a Catholic priest meets a somewhat younger lady rabbi?

2 comments:

Amishav said...

The best thing that you might do is place them in proximity to each other and see if they will introduce themselves! That would certainly make things easy.

debka_notion said...

Miss Manners says that when you forget a name, you start "this is [person x], you must have so much in common" or somethign of the sort, and then bend down to tie your shoe, or find some other reason to duck out of finishing the introduction... Doesn't actually help, but oh well.