Some Personal Business, and Some Plain Old Business

Engagement

I would like to share a little news with our faithful readers. Last week while on a vacation in Hawaii, I got engaged to a wonderful non-Jewish woman! We’ve been dating longer than two people of our age should, and you can probably blame me for that. So the whole debate on intermarriage has just gotten a bit more personally meaningful for me, and I’m sure issues in our relationship will occasionally surface on the blog (although I’m not planning on turning this into a play-by-play of our wedding planning. IFF’s wedding blog, which will be coming soon, will be a forum for that.).

In other news…
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Amy’s Thoughts on Mourning

This is Amy, the Community Connections Coordinator, blogging for the first time ever – from Micah’s account (mine’s not set up yet). I just couldn’t wait until it was set up, because I had some thoughts about today, being that it’s the 5th anniversary of what I don’t think any of us will ever be able to look at the same, the date, 9/11. I was thinking about how in Judaism, we have this concept of a one year period of mourning, and then when it’s over, we recognize the anniversary of a death each by commemorating a “yahrzeit” – literally a remembrance of a person or an event. A yahrzeit can be a powerful thing; the wounds are no longer fresh, but each year, we never forget and publicly or privately express our own pain of loss and remembrance.

I started thinking about how on this anniversary, even thought it’s been 5 years later, how raw many of us still feel. I take comfort in Jewish death rituals, but I wonder how many others haven’t been able to rid themselves of their pain. I surround myself in community, and in family, and in friends, but today, I feel sad. If you are in an interfaith relationship, or you are part of an interfaith family, I wonder how (or if) your mourning changes. I share the same traditions and customs with my husband – but what if he practiced another religion than I did? Would each of our own mourning practices comfort each other? How does that get reconciled? Or does it?
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