Article Discussion: Marblehead Moment

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This topic has 4 voices, contains 4 replies, and was last updated by  Seraphina 1340 days ago.

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May 31, 2010 at 4:00 am #4672

admin

Click here to read the article: Marblehead Moment

June 1, 2010 at 1:59 am #4674

Sderot

If a Jewish man wants Jewish children then he marry a Jewish woman. Marrying a non-Jewish woman means the chidlren won’t be Jewish. It’s simple to understand.

June 1, 2010 at 5:01 am #4675

Debbie B.

Response to “Sderot”

If the mother is not Jewish, it is possible to do a child conversion which is later affirmed by the child upon reaching bar/bat mitzvah age. I know—we converted my children more than a decade ago, because even though I loved Judaism and even lived an essentially Jewish life, I was not yet ready to convert myself. I did convert a decade later and am glad that I was able to convert when I was ready to do it in the way in which I wanted and for the true internal conviction that I was supposed to be Jewish—not from external pressures like for the wedding or before the birth of my children. I felt that having an “ulterior motive” would not be a good basis for conversion—kind of like lying to God.

We did have a my son circumcised by an Orthodox mohel “for the purpose of conversion”, and we took my son and my daughter before a beit din of three rabbis and immersed them in a mikveh for their child conversions.

Just today my son fulfilled the promise that we made for him as a baby: he celebrated becoming a bar mitzvah by leading the weekday morning prayers and reading from the Torah (which is done on Monday mornings as well as Shabbat). I had even asked him if he understood that he had a choice about whether to affirm being Jewish. We are moderately observant, so living Jewishly for us requires that he often passes on food offered at his public school (which I allow him to choose since I cannot be there to enforce, and feel that he should make that decision for himself), missing school for holidays, observing Shabbat, and spending a lot of time on Jewish learning. His reply: “Sure mom, but why wouldn’t I want to be Jewish?”

Bringing up a Jewish child in an interfaith family can be challenging, but it’s a lot of work to do a proper job of educating a Jewish child even in a Jewish family. And sometimes because the interfaith family does not take it for granted that the child will automatically be Jewish, the interfaith family works harder at giving the child the education and Jewish experiences that are needed. I think interfaith families should know that child conversion and bringing up the children as Jewish even with a non-Jewish mother is possible, so that they will at least consider that as a choice.

June 8, 2010 at 6:37 pm #4702

Benjamin Maron

Sderot, there are Jewish denominations that respect patrilineal descent for the passing on of religion, not just matrilineal descent.

On a website that strives to include interfaith families in our religion, I would hope that you could understand that nothing is as “simple” as you’re suggesting.

December 20, 2010 at 3:39 pm #5323

Seraphina

Thank you so much for this wonderful article! I have been dating my boyfriend for a year and a half now and it is such a relief to read about women going through the same sorts of things that I am as a non-Jewish woman dating a Jewish man. I sometimes feel the same way that you seem to have felt in the first year of your relationship, overwhelmed and a little lost. I hope that I will get the opportunity to learn a little Hebrew so that I can better understand the things going on around me.

I don’t know what to say except thank you again. Best of luck, fellow “shiksa.” ;)

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