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  #1  
June 18th, 2009, 12:27 PM
rebeccabaltimore and more's Avatar (rebeccabaltimore)
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I'm Jewish, DH is an atheist, and I was just wondering if there were any other interfaith Jewish families or families where a partner converted on JM. *waves hi*

My husband helps me keep a Jewish home and we will be raising our children Jewish, although when they're old enough to understand we'll explain my husband's beliefs too.
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  #2  
June 22nd, 2009, 05:20 AM
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Hi Rebecca,

Can I ask some questions and I hope its not offensive...

How can you raise children to believe in Hashem when their daddy doesnt..... wont it confuse them further?

What will you do about the bris or barmitzvah when the father is required to do aliyahs or blessings etc. What about shabbos..... do you have a shabbos?

Sorry if these questions seem judgemental and harsh, i am just curious
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  #3  
June 23rd, 2009, 01:17 PM
rebeccabaltimore and more's Avatar (rebeccabaltimore)
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No offense taken! I can answer these questions best if I first tell you about my mother.

I am the product of an interfaith marriage. My mother is a Methodist, though she doesn't practice much. I was raised Jewish, as were my siblings, and we all went through the conversion ceremony before bnai mitzvah. It's not required in reform Judaism (a Jewish father is acceptable), but we knew that to be officially recognized by other denominations, we needed the ceremony.

My mom kept a (reform) Jewish home. Shabbat every week, hosting all the major holidays, making sure we were educated in our religion. Nobody who has met her ever believes me when I tell them she's not Jewish, that's how awesome she is.

So DH has been learning from her how to keep a Jewish home. Also, his stepmother and stepsiblings are Jewish, so for all intents and purposes he grew up in a Jewish home, he just didn't go to Hebrew School. He helps me celebrate shabbot, goes with me to temple, helps me host holidays, etc. He spent an entire year taking weekly classes on Judaism and creating a Jewish home before we got married.

I think if he had been raised Jewish, he might believe in god. But his first stepmother was an evangelical Christian in one of those weird fringe cult-like groups, so he got freaked out by the perversion of faith pretty early.

As far as our children believing in God, he won't be telling them he's an atheist until they start bar mitzvah study. We don't want them confused. We both want to raise independent thinkers. We want our kids to believe in God not because their parents do, but because they have studied Torah and seen the miracle of HaShem in their daily lives. My husband will always be an athiest, but he does believe strongly that belief in god and (healthy) religious observance are good for children. If he was going to fight me on raising the children Jewish, either we wouldn't have gotten married or we would have stuck to raising pugs.

As far as the bris and bar mitzvah goes, he won't make aliyah, but he will learn the blessings, just like my mother did (one of my favorite memories is when she learned the Shechechiyanu for my bat mitzvah). And he celebrates shabbat with me every week, even lighting our son's yartzheit candle when I am too sad.

The success of keeping a Jewish home hinges on the fact that my husband is an active participant in keeping our home Jewish. It's a commitment he made before we got married. I thin he regrets not having had a stable religious background until he was in his early teens. I don't even know how I would have handled it if he weren't this supportive, but he is, so lucky me!
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  #4  
June 24th, 2009, 04:06 AM
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Thanks for answering Rebecca. My dad was raised reform (though his parents were orthodox) so i am familiar with what you speak. He didn agree with a lot of things and my parents were married orthodox, but they arent observant and for them its about traditions.

Thankfully they sent me to a jewish day school where i learnt hebrew and judaism. Honestly it saved me from straying. I dont think i would care if i wasnt surrounded by jews.......

I had always wanted more religious observance when i was a child, but that was also due to the fact that my parents were always unhappy. I think Judaism saved me and gave me much needed security so your hubby is correct there :-)

I am striving to become shomrei but i am lacking to commitment and working on it. Its a hard step to take, one that is not grey.... but i am def doing more each year to acheive that commitment.
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  #5  
June 24th, 2009, 09:02 AM
rebeccabaltimore and more's Avatar (rebeccabaltimore)
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From reading your posts here I am impressed with and inspired by you committment to our faith
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  #6  
June 24th, 2009, 01:46 PM
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Just wanted to say hi, we are not interfaith, although my husband does have some episcopalian family members. They converted from Judaism. We are both conservative Jews, as were all of our parents, grandparents, and so on
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  #7  
June 29th, 2009, 03:21 AM
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Rebecca: Thanks for your compliments :-)

Rachna: What is episcopalian?

and maybe you can both tell me this (as i have always wondered) but what is the difference between conservative and reform? Where I am you are either reform or orthodox, there is nothing else....
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  #8  
June 29th, 2009, 08:07 PM
rebeccabaltimore and more's Avatar (rebeccabaltimore)
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I find that the wikipedia article sums it up better than I could. Jewish religious movements - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia . If you scroll down to modern divisions or denominations it has a nice little summary.

Episcopalianism is a Protestant Christian denomination.
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  #9  
June 30th, 2009, 03:28 AM
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thanks. i checked it out :-) very interesting indeed.......
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  #10  
June 30th, 2009, 05:42 AM
rachna's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Where are you Alchemist?

honestly I know nothing about episopalianism or even christianity. So I cant help you there!

Conservative Judaism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I am conservative egalitarian. I dont believe in different roles for men and women etc. we all do it all, I wear a kippah and a tallit just like my husband does. I've read from torah more often then he has!

Basically though conservative is much much more traditional then reform is, but not as strict as orthodox. Its somewhat middle ground. Many conservative jews keep kosher and are shomar shabbos, but some are not. It depends.

Last edited by rachna; June 30th, 2009 at 05:45 AM.
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  #11  
June 30th, 2009, 05:44 PM
I'm Sam, Sadie's Mommy!!!
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We are also a "mixed home." I am Jewish (reform...though leaning more toward conservative) and my husband is a Christian, but only in tradition not in practice. We live in a jewish home and are raising our daughter jewish. He comes to shul with me, lights shabbos candles with me...etc. I love sharing it with him and he is super popular with the ladies at shul! LOL! He was sick and missed the congregational Hanukkah dinner and you would not believe the amount of food they sent me home with! We could have fed an army!

Anyway, it's been easy for the most part. My MIL is very adamant that Sadie will be receiving Christmas gifts from their family and I'm not sure how I feel about that. However Christmas for them is very much a Hallmark holiday. They don't go to church...etc.

We are having a brit bat for Sadie this fall and I hope they'll be okay being apart of it.
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  #12  
July 1st, 2009, 07:18 AM
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Rachna - I live in South Africa. We are a very traditional society (pretty closed off actually) and we are either reform (which is getting smaller as more are moving towards orthoddoxy like my dad) or orthodox (mostly traditional orthodox like myself). I grew up in a jewish part of town, went to a jewish day school but my parents were mostly non observant (only going to shul on high holidays). I, like some of my ILs, are becoming more observant but its a slow road as orthodoxy (as you know) is pretty intense :-)

but i do what i do....... went to mikvah last night and LOVED it. I immersed after my friend in her 9th month as a segulah for me to fall pg......

then we gossiped and relaxed afterwards...... loved it

Sadie - what is a brit bat?

Sam - what is a brit bat?
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  #13  
July 1st, 2009, 08:39 AM
I'm Sam, Sadie's Mommy!!!
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Alchemist-- A brit bat is a sort of contemporary ceremony for jewish baby girls to welcome them. "Daughter's Covenant."

My Jewish Learning: The Modern Evolution of Ceremonies for Girls
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  #14  
July 2nd, 2009, 02:34 AM
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I c. what do you do?

The only thing we do in orthodoxy is name her in shul at the first shabbos and then obviously the batmitzvah at 12.............
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  #15  
July 2nd, 2009, 10:38 AM
rebeccabaltimore and more's Avatar (rebeccabaltimore)
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I have a lot of family in South Africa, but nobody is observant. Actually my wedding ring is from a great great aunt who was part of our South African clan.

We do something called a baby naming ceremony at a little girl's first shabbat.
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  #16  
July 6th, 2009, 07:23 AM
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sounds similar :-)
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  #17  
July 7th, 2009, 08:47 AM
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Bea Bea is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BunkerVA View Post
We are also a "mixed home." I am Jewish (reform...though leaning more toward conservative) and my husband is a Christian, but only in tradition not in practice. We live in a jewish home and are raising our daughter jewish. He comes to shul with me, lights shabbos candles with me...etc. I love sharing it with him and he is super popular with the ladies at shul! LOL! He was sick and missed the congregational Hanukkah dinner and you would not believe the amount of food they sent me home with! We could have fed an army!

Anyway, it's been easy for the most part. My MIL is very adamant that Sadie will be receiving Christmas gifts from their family and I'm not sure how I feel about that. However Christmas for them is very much a Hallmark holiday. They don't go to church...etc.

We are having a brit bat for Sadie this fall and I hope they'll be okay being apart of it.
this is exactly how our family is, except we do celebrate christmas with my inlaws.. they have never been to church though, and are starting hebrew school this fall
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  #18  
July 7th, 2009, 08:22 PM
I'm Sam, Sadie's Mommy!!!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alchemist View Post
I c. what do you do?

The only thing we do in orthodoxy is name her in shul at the first shabbos and then obviously the batmitzvah at 12.............
It's a baby naming, but we couldn't do hers on her first Shabbos because she was sick.

I am already planning to take her to Israel after her bat mitzvah. I can't wait! (But I don't really want her to grow up! LOL!)
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  #19  
July 8th, 2009, 03:52 AM
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I can only imagine. I have many nieces going through their bat mitzvahs now and its crazy how 'adult' they dress and seem...... they were my little flower girls.....
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  #20  
July 9th, 2009, 01:26 PM
rachna's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BunkerVA View Post
It's a baby naming, but we couldn't do hers on her first Shabbos because she was sick.

I am already planning to take her to Israel after her bat mitzvah. I can't wait! (But I don't really want her to grow up! LOL!)

We are planning the same!!! My husband has NEVER been to Israel, I have a few times and lived there for a few months, and I cannot wait to go as a family!
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