Easter / Passover dilemma

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March 8, 2010 at 6:07 pm #4414

SHF

My husband’s Jewish, I’m Lutheran.  Most of the time, we’ve reached a place where we both practice our own religion and celebrate big holidays together, although the celebration can be very reluctant on his part.  No kids yet, but it’s something we’re discussing.

Now that Easter’s coming, he wants to skip Church.  Easter and Christmas Eve are the only two days in the year that I’d really like him with me at Church.  He’s happy to have my parents over and open Easter baskets (yes, my mom still buys her adult children Easter baskets!) and go out to brunch after Church, but to me, that stuff is sort of incidental to Easter.  The Church service is the real celebration.

I proposed that if he doesn’t want to do holidays together, I don’t like it, but we can try it this spring.  He will skip Easter and I’ll skip the Passover seders with his family and with friends.    He seems to be okay with this plan, but deep down I’m not.  I don’t think that keeping these areas of our life completely separate from each other is good for us as a couple, or good for either of us spiritually.

On the other hand, I feel I’m much more giving with him on religion.  I go to High Holiday services, light candles at Hanukkah, attend seders and have even hosted one at our house.  I’ve read books about Judiasm and bought him Judaica for our house.  It doesn’t seem like a good solution for us as a couple for me to put forth all the effort to support him, but to receive nothing in return.

So, I don’t know what to do.  Let him do whatever he wants and continue to support him and celebrate Passover with him?  Insist he celebrate Easter with me?  Try it apart?

March 9, 2010 at 4:58 pm #4423

Chana-Esther

My very personal and non expert  opinion is to celebrate together.  (do you have kids?  do you plan to?)

I’m not sure what would happen if you start celebrating major things apart. 

March 9, 2010 at 5:16 pm #4424

DS

SHF,
It sounds like you’re not going to the seder because you’re hurt your husband won’t go with you to church with you.  I urge you not to skip the seder for this reason – that can cause friction with your extended family and sets a tit-for-tat precedent between you and your spouse.  And it probably won’t make you feel better.

However, I suggest having a deep conversation about why he doesn’t want to go with you, how that makes you feel, and what you both see for your future.  If necessary have a neutral third party facilitate the conversation.  If you can understand what each other is really feeling and what motivates each of you, you can make decisions or compromises that, even if they don’t make you both happy, you both understand.

Good luck!

March 17, 2010 at 3:15 pm #4455

Beth

I would encourage you to continue the discussion. From your post (and maybe I’m reading too much here) it sounds like you are starting feel some resentment because of his non-participation in general with things having to do with your religion. As a Baptist married to a Jewish person, I can relate. At first, my husband didn’t really feel comfortable attending services with me, even just on important holidays (though I always participated in his holidays, even hosting them, at times). When I expressed that his lack of participation made me feel lonely and unsupported, he understood that I wasn’t asking him to love church, I was just asking him to love me, including the part of me that loves church. It’s still not perfect, but when we both view our participation in the holidays (Jewish or Baptist) as an expression of love for our partner, it does make things easier. Good luck.

April 3, 2010 at 12:09 am #4494

WRB

You need to understand that unlike Xmas, Jews have been targeted with ferocious anti-Semitism during the Easter season.  Even though he may not have been called a “Christ-killer” personally, it’s a very difficult holiday for even the most secular of Jews.  I’d say if he’s uncomfortable going to church with you during Easter, you need to respect his wishes and be sensitive to the source of his discomfort.

April 3, 2010 at 12:35 am #4495

WRB

Let me add this:
I’m a practicing Reform Jew from both sides.  My husband is Jewish, although his father was born a Nazarene.  He never converted, but never went to church after he was married (I don’t believe) and had a Jewish funeral.  (I can’t explain this other than it was what his wife wanted.)
I don’t mean to be offensive, but upon further reflection of your post I have a couple of observations.
First, this is an interfaith marriage and yet you indicated that just now you’re discussing children.  Couples who choose to date and marry outside of their faiths need to discuss the child-rearing situation at the beginning of their relationships, or at least when they look as though they may become serious.  There are many non-Jews in my extended family, and I’ve seen time and again that exposing children to both faiths leaves them confused and most of the time, adrift in nothingness.  (And I’m not talking about Jews having Xmas trees because they like Santa.)  Either you teach the concept of Original Sin and redemption or you teach we’re born without sin.  Either there’s a role for Jesus or there isn’t.  There is no middle ground.
I don’t know how long you’ve been married, but clearly there’s some grappling with religious identity and some unfair expectations.  (“I do this, so he should do that…”)  There doesn’t seem to be much thought behind what you’re doing and why.  Religion is not like trading toys.
Most importantly, you did not understand why a Jew would feel uncomfortable going to church on Easter.  This is very troubling.  Judaism isn’t just a religion; it’s being part of a tribe.  Anybody marrying a Jew–no matter how observant or non-observant–must understand the mindset that goes with it. 

 

April 15, 2010 at 4:52 pm #4535

mixedjewgirl1

I would consider WRB’s very astute comments on this subject. This issue should have been discussed during the dating period. I’m also concerned about the lack of sensitivity of both non Jewish partners as to why their spouses would object to church celebrations. I think you need a rudimentary history lesson.

Easter isn’t a neutral time of year for many minority faiths least of all Judaism. There is the blood libel issue for the Passover/Easter dilemma. Sometimes people were killed during Easter due to the “Christ killer” phenomenon. Also, the creation of Easter its the separation from Passover is a product of early anti-Semitism. My parents raised me with both, but always explained the history of Jewish persecution during Easter. I respect them as parents for that.
http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view. … artid=1173
http://www.religioustolerance.org/jud_pers1.htm

I would recommend you both buy a copy of Dr. Joel Crohn book “Mixed Matches.” He offers advice and exercises on how to deal with this dilemma. I had to use the book to sort through the confusion of having been raised with two faiths. Although I love my parents, we have all decided raising us with both was a huge parenting error. My sister is a Dawkins quoting atheist, my brother is an angry agnostic, and I’m the only success story in the family. I identify as Jewish.

April 23, 2010 at 5:39 pm #4566

SHF

We discussed these issues ENDLESSLY before we were engaged.  You can not know every twist and turn the future holds, and it has to be a continuing discussion.

You are right that we are still not sure if we want to have children together.  I respectfully disagree that we should have decided that before we were married.  That does not mean that we don’t know how we would raise hypothetical children.

We have agreed to celebrate holidays together as a family and to go to religious services with each other on important holidays.  So, the last two posters, you feel that my husband is obligated to stick to that promise because it is what we agreed before we were married?  Yet you think he should naturally hate the Christian celebration of Easter and refuse to participate?  I guess now you see his dilemma.

He ended up coming to church with me.  It made me very happy.  It made my parents very happy and I’m very grateful that I’m married to him.  I’m also VERY happy that I’m not married to some of the people who post on this board.  

October 28, 2010 at 7:50 pm #5178

Phx Mom

Per Passover/Easter:
The Passover celebration is in the Old Testament, which is accepted by both the Christian and Jewish faiths.  It has become common for churches to celebrate their own seders, so I don’t think this should be a problem.
I don’t think the writers were saying your husband should hate Easter.  What they were saying is that Easter has been used as a point of hatred against the Jewish people.
You also asked whether your husband shouldn’t abide by the agreement he had before you were married.  Yet you also said you “can not know every twist and turn the future holds.”
Interfaith marriage is tough.  The divorce rate is three times what it is for intrafaith marriages.  This is why.
I’ve been married nearly 42 years in an intrafaith (Jewish) marriage.  We have differing levels of observance and even that is tough. 
People also change, and whether you’ve married to somebody within your faith or out, you need to recognize that and all its implications.
At the end of the day, how one chooses to believe or not believe in God is a personal issue.  I’m glad your husband found a level of comfort and was able to go to church with you. 
Nobody ever said he shouldn’t go to church with you or hate Easter.  What they did say was that you should be cognizant of why Jews are uncomfortable going to church on that holiday. 

December 28, 2010 at 10:02 pm #5353

laura

This is why people who are considering interfaith marriage need to think about all aspects.  And you dont’t even have kids yet!  I am the child of interfaith and would never consider marrying outside Judism.  I think there is too much confict that still remains between the Christians and Jews.  Especially during Easter and passover, a time when Jews were slaughtered by the Non-Jews for “Blood Libel”

February 25, 2011 at 7:21 am #5525

jjohnn

Seeing that you are a  Christian I would consider it to be a wise move on your part to educate yourself in the history of why Christians and Jews celebrate different holidays. History proves that the first, second and third century Christians celebrated the same holy days as their Jewish Messiah and Jewish Disciples did.

The only reason Christians do not celebrate Jewish holy days today is because the original practice among Christians to continue in the example of their Jewish Messiah  in celebrating Jewish holy days was outlawed by a very anti-Judaic man named Constantine.

Profession of faith instituted Under The Emperor Constantine in 325 C.E. (A.D.)

http://totalrestitution.com/articles/Co … faith.html

A Profession Of Faith From The Church Of Constantinople in the year 325 C.E.(A.D.) Under The Emperor Constantine

“I renounce all customs, rites, legalisms. unleavened breads & sacrifices of lambs of the Hebrews,and all other feasts of the Hebrews, sacrifices, prayers, aspersions, purifications, sanctifications and propitiations and fasts, and new moons, and Sabbaths, and superstitions, and hymns and chants and observances and Synagogues, and the food and drink of The Hebrews; in one word, I renounce everything Jewish, every law, rite and custom and if afterwards I shall wish to deny and return to Jewish superstition, or shall be found eating with The Jews, or feasting with them, or secretly conversing and condemning the Christian religion instead of openly confuting them and condemning their vain faith, then let the trembling of Gehazi cleave to me, as well as the legal punishments to which I acknowledge myself liable. And may I be anathema in the world to come, and may my soul be set down with Satan and the devils.”

Source: Parks, James The Conflict Of The Church And The Synagogue Atheneum, New York, 1974, pp. 397 – 398.

So if your Christian family asks you why you are celebrating Jewish holy days simply tell them that you are just following Jesus’ example.

March 28, 2011 at 11:39 pm #5653

Charles T Compton

Can anyone tell me where I can find out what day the 14th of Nisan was on in the year 31 AD? I have been told it was on Wednesday; however, I would like to prove it. Can you help me out?

Charles T Compton
chc14@juno.com

jjohnn wrote:
Seeing that you are a  Christian I would consider it to be a wise move on your part to educate yourself in the history of why Christians and Jews celebrate different holidays. History proves that the first, second and third century Christians celebrated the same holy days as their Jewish Messiah and Jewish Disciples did.

The only reason Christians do not celebrate Jewish holy days today is because the original practice among Christians to continue in the example of their Jewish Messiah  in celebrating Jewish holy days was outlawed by a very anti-Judaic man named Constantine.

Profession of faith instituted Under The Emperor Constantine in 325 C.E. (A.D.)

http://totalrestitution.com/articles/Co … faith.html

A Profession Of Faith From The Church Of Constantinople in the year 325 C.E.(A.D.) Under The Emperor Constantine

“I renounce all customs, rites, legalisms. unleavened breads & sacrifices of lambs of the Hebrews,and all other feasts of the Hebrews, sacrifices, prayers, aspersions, purifications, sanctifications and propitiations and fasts, and new moons, and Sabbaths, and superstitions, and hymns and chants and observances and Synagogues, and the food and drink of The Hebrews; in one word, I renounce everything Jewish, every law, rite and custom and if afterwards I shall wish to deny and return to Jewish superstition, or shall be found eating with The Jews, or feasting with them, or secretly conversing and condemning the Christian religion instead of openly confuting them and condemning their vain faith, then let the trembling of Gehazi cleave to me, as well as the legal punishments to which I acknowledge myself liable. And may I be anathema in the world to come, and may my soul be set down with Satan and the devils.”

Source: Parks, James The Conflict Of The Church And The Synagogue Atheneum, New York, 1974, pp. 397 – 398.

So if your Christian family asks you why you are celebrating Jewish holy days simply tell them that you are just following Jesus’ example.

March 28, 2011 at 11:44 pm #5654

Charles T Compton

Can anyone tell me where I can find out what day the 14th of Nisan fell on in 31 AD? I have been told it fell on Wednesday, however I would like to prove what day it was for myself. Can anyone help me out?

Charles T Compton
chc14@juno.com

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