Friday, April 8, 2011

Then I married a Jew

Occasionally I get asked a certain question that I find amusing.  Is it weird raising your kids with two different religious backgrounds since you are Catholic and your husband is Jewish?  Oh yeah totally weird and the kids are so completely messed up.  That is what I want to say but the PC side of my brain tells them that it is just fine and so are we.  The truth is I very rarely give any thought to the matter.  Neither my husband or myself is very religious so there is really NO tension about it whatsoever.  Actually to be quite honest I find that friends of mine who are married to someone of the same faith seem to fight more around the holidays then me and the hubs ever have.  Whose parents to spend Christmas with? Who is doing Easter this year?  Who has Passover?  We don't have to grapple with any of it because well it is pretty cut and dry. 

As for us I guess we mainly focus on making our own family traditions and less on the "real" reason for the holiday.  I never got down with the whole Catholic thing and spent the better part of my CCD education getting kicked out of class for asking the hard questions like...How are we positive that this is what went down?  Funny that this question did in fact get me in some hot water and I spent the rest of that class sitting in the office staring at some pretty weird statue of a lady with a huge snake at her feet...creepy.  I guess that my parents were not fully exhausted with child rearing yet because I was made to go to CCD all the way to the end whereas my brother and sister didn't go at all.  Being the good Catholic girl that I was, or should I say am,  I lost my virginity about 2 weeks before getting my Confirmation.  Sweet right?  Oh and as for picking out my Confirmation name...I just waited till my best friend Amy got there, quickly asked her whom she had selected as her personal saintly name and took it for myself.  I am awesome aren't I?  Anywho this pretty much sums up all my religious education in a nutshell and as you can see I really didn't give a rats behind, which is why I married a Jew.

Yes a Jew.  That I married on a Friday night at sun down on the Succoth.  Now just because WE don't have a issue with our intermingling faith does not mean that NOBODY has taken issue with it.  My husbands father is completely and totally orthodox.  BY THE BOOK.  I want to make clear though that this was not how my husband was raised as a child.  His father became orthodox after he and Dov's mother divorced.  So to make a long story short it ruffled a few feathers when we didn't plan our whole wedding around what would work for a orthodox family.  To his credit he did attend.  Dov's mother on the other hand had converted to Judaism when she married Dov's father so she has a background with both the catholic and Jewish religions and very easily can get down with whatever is going on.  She can light Hanukkah candles and pass out gifts wrapped up with Santa paper. It is all good!

I am not sure what the whole point of this rambling was except to state once and for all that contrary to popular belief two people with totally different faiths can raise a family together in harmony.  I really have no interest in organized religion and do not intend on raising my kids with a titled faith.  I am spiritual but NOT religious.  Praying for people is not my thing.   I will THINK of you.  Isn't that what it really is about.  I would rather have someone thinking of me and sending me positive thoughts then praying for me. I just have a sneaky suspicion that they are the same thing.  I am not trying to say that any one way is better then the other because honestly who the heck knows.  I can only attest to our marriage and so far things are working out just dandy.  It helps that both of us really just like to spend time with family, eating, drinking, talking and enjoying each others company.  It doesn't matter what holiday we are celebrating I am just glad it is with him.

As for our kids they will know about both.  If they have a desire to learn more about either of them then I do not have a problem with that, we are just not setting them off on a path and telling them that this is the way...the only way.  They can decide when they have the presence of mind to do it on their own and if they choose not to then that is fine by me.  I am sure that there are plenty of people out there that think I am doing my children a disservice by not giving them a religious background but here is the point, they get TWO and they can pick from the whole lot of them (way more then two but I have not a clue how many) so there!  Two perspectives for the price of one, what a bargain!
Dov breaking the glass at our wedding.  Here is a testament to how little each of us knows about our respective religions.  I later was told that the story behind why Jewish folks do this is because the glass is broken to symbolize the new form your relationship has taken and that you should never be able to put it back together again.  WELLLLLL Dov's brother, a very talented glass blower, had made the glass that we broke at the wedding and then took the shards and made them into a bowl that now sits in my  china hutch.  I guess technically we took on a new form...a bowl.  But the moral of this story  is that the glass is supposed to remain broken. Oh well.

Lighting Hanukkah candles.

Our Christmas Tree.

We're cool with it.

1 comment:

  1. Very cool. My christian friend and her jewish husband celebrate all the holidays, too. They even have "Hannuka Harry" like a Santa, who brings presents. These 2 religions have more similarities than differences.