Article Discussion: The Gift of Being Jewish

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This topic has 2 voices, contains 2 replies, and was last updated by  Hebrew Catholic 1707 days ago.

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April 10, 2009 at 4:14 pm #1449

admin

Click here to read the article: The Gift of Being Jewish

August 13, 2009 at 9:31 pm #3552

Lacie

I just wanted to say that I really appreciated reading this article. My dad is jewish, but he chose to convert to christianity because my mom is a christian. This was extremely difficult for me because I identify much more with my jewish family and feel that I have a jewish soul. It’s nice to read about someone else who didn’t let matrilinear status stop them from following G-d.

August 14, 2009 at 8:54 pm #3558

Hebrew Catholic

This article is beautiful and communicates deep respect for both parents, and in a special way gratitude for the Christian parent who chose to raise Jewish children.  However, I do feel I should point out one thing:

The author says that raising him exclusively as a Jew was “certainly the best decision that (his parents) could have made”, then lays out the other possibilities:
1) allow him to decide whether to be Jewish or Christian on his own
2) choose a religion and then ask later if he would prefer to change
3) raise him as both Christian and Jewish
4) raise him as neither Christian nor Jewish

Including the chosen option of raising him as a Jew, that makes five.

Does everyone see the missing sixth option?

6) raising him as a Christian

Now, obviously, this website is all about encouraging Jewish choices.  But I always like to point out that the Jewish choice cannot be fully valued as a choice unless, well, it really is a choice.  That means at least acknowledging that the non-Jewish parent’s religion or lack thereof (in this case, Christianity) could, in theory, also have been chosen.

I believe that the depth of his mother’s sacrifice can be more fully grasped if we take a moment to realize that this young man, if his parents had decided differently, could have been writing an article called “The Gift of Being Christian”, in which he talked about how his father made the decision to give up the dream of passing down his religious identity to the next generation.

Maybe that image from an “alternate reality” is a little to scary for a teen to contemplate right now, but I think it’s worth remembering, and including in the list of hypothetical possibilities.  When you explicitly put the non-chosen faith on the list of hypothetical possiblilities, it makes it sound a bit obnoxious to say that a Jewish upbringing was “certainly the best decision they could have made”, but you can certainly say, “It is the choice they made, and they followed through on it faithfully so that the choice became a gift.”

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