Breaking the news?

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This topic has 2 voices, contains 1 reply, and was last updated by  pikachiu132 1190 days ago.

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June 9, 2011 at 7:51 pm #5849

avib

I’m trying to get some advice about how to let my father know about my engagement to a non-jew. Here’s some background:

I’m a non religious Jew with a strong sense of Jewish identity and history since my parents escaped the former Soviet Union in order to practice Judaism. My fiance is a non practicing Episcopalian but mostly, just identifies with “American” customs that have a basis in Christian values. My parents know about our relationship and although they’ve never been supportive, they have come to accept it somewhat.

We are now engaged and planning an autumn wedding. I have told my mother and thought she would communicate it to my father (they live in a different state) but I found out this week that he is “offended” since I haven’t told him directly. Problem is, I don’t know how to address the situation since I know he’ll respond in either of the following ways:

1.) Standard laissez faire / libertarian response – “It’s your life. Good luck”
2.) Passive aggressive / disapproving response – “You’re making a mistake”

Neither are exactly warm and fuzzy. Any thoughts or input?

June 14, 2011 at 6:04 pm #5862

pikachiu132

How did your family bring you up in terms of ‘Jewish’ values? How accepting is she to your traditions (if you even practice them)? Do you even lead a ‘Jewish’ life?

I’m not an expert about this in any means, but when my fiance and I went to see a rabbi to officiate, they asked me (I’m Chinese, he’s a semi-Observant Jew) if we would bring up our children in a Jewish Home. For me it means doing the same things his parents do. Celebrating the high holidays, staying somewhat kosher (no pork, no dairy+meat at home) (and I do this only in their household) and occasionally celebrating Shabbat. I’m totally okay with doing that, as he is celebrating Christmas and Chinese New Year.

I mean, if you aren’t even leading a Jewish life, or weren’t brought up that way, what do your parents expect from you in terms of your marriage in the future?

Will you be having a Jewish Ceremony?

I think no matter what, he’ll have to learn to accept her. And you might have to deal with one of these two responses and for now have to suck it up. Hopefully your fiance is tolerant too , and can appease your parents one day down the road. Maybe hosting a Seder, but also inviting in for Christmas dinner.

I also would think you should tell him in person than over the phone. At least gives you a chance to talk about these things, rather then him escaping.

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