Article Discussion: Is Observance Fanaticism

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April 10, 2009 at 4:16 pm #1775

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Click here to read the article: Is Observance Fanaticism

August 19, 2010 at 6:49 pm #4989

George Ben Yeshua

I am observant of the holydays my wife is non jewish ,but in my opinion the observance of the holydays is very individual for you to get close to G_D he will hold each person responsible as an individual
I can teach her a lot of things and why even all christians are spuposte follow all the jewish holydays as they are very clear in the torah and the bible and now she is starting to understand the meaning of all this SHALOM

November 18, 2011 at 5:01 pm #6301

guest

This article helped clear up some issues muddling my mind. I live in a country that has no Reform tradition. My partner’s family is non-observant to the point that my partner was not raised Jewish although he is Halakally Jewish (his family had 4 Christmas trees in his house growing up and celebrated Christmas with other Jewish family by exchanging presents and sharing Christmas dinner). I will be converting this spring in a reform ceremony after close to 4 years of studying and practicing Reform Judaism. My non- practicing Catholic parents are behind me 100% (my Mom was accidently baptsized by nuns in a boarding school run by nuns at age 13, her Dad was a staunch atheist Jew who lost his parents and brothers and sisters in Bergen Belsen, her Mom’s Dad was also a non-practicing Jew) but my partner’s family ironically are highly critical that we chose to go the Reform route (his elderly father is a member of the Orthodox community by tradition but is non-practicing and spent his college years in a labor camp during the war). Sadly we feel put down and criticized more by my mother- in-law (who converted upon marriage of her own doing) and we are subjected to comments to what it means to be Jewish and how to raise a Jewish family.) I suppress my anger and refrain from comment to keep the peace and to get through our visits without adding to the tension but I am finding it increasingly difficult to have to submit to these types of comments. We are happy with our choice and with our level of practice, and I made this clear in no uncertain terms without being critical, but no matter, it is clear that my partner’s family, including his sister, find it fanatical. We have children and so we have no intention of cutting ties with his parents but the tension sadly remains. I even found an organization that provides Jewish activities and education for our children and they have established a strong Jewish identity and enjoy attending this type of religious schooling. It has helped us connect with other inter-faith families (this term does not exist in this culture but the couples are called mixed couples who are not accepted by the Orthodox community). This is important to us and in particular to my partner because he sees it as filling a gap that was always there growing up. Perhaps his family’s reaction is due to an underlying jealousy or bitterness that we are achieving something that they never could or that we have found a a level of comfort that works for us. I try to be patient and not pay attention to it all. There was not a very good relaitonship before we started discovering our Jewish roots so this is not the cause of the problem. I had naively hoped that somehow this path would bring father and son closer, but it is really a problem related to the generation gap and apathy on my father-in law’s part.

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