Greetings interfaith families!
As a Catholic who converted to Judaism three and a half years ago, I thought at first that my family and I had put the â€śinterfaithâ€ť part of our religious life behind us. I was raised in an interfaith familyâ€”my mother was Catholic and my father at turns Baptist and Methodistâ€”and letâ€™s just say that religion was hotly debated in my childhood home.
My Jewish husband and I are raising our three childrenâ€”ages 16, 11, and 7â€”as Jews. Iâ€™ve memorized the prayers and figured out how to make latkes. Weâ€™re active participants in our interfaith synagogue. I faithfully sat in on my older daughterâ€™s Hebrew lessons and watched with tears in my eyes as she recited her portion at her
But Iâ€™m learning that in reality we will always be interfaith. When my mother died a few months ago after a brief, heartbreaking struggle with cancer, I found myself thrust back decades. Memories of my mother and I attending Mass, going to confession, and saying the rosary together came flooding back. It turns out the language of my grief right now isnâ€™t Jewishâ€”the prayers that pour out of me are Hail Marys and Psalm 23. I tried to say Kaddish to myself in her final moments, but couldnâ€™t remember the words. Our family and friends, Jews and Christians alike, came to my motherâ€™s funeral in a beautiful, old Catholic church on a chilly spring day. My youngest asked what the kneeling pads were for, which came as a weird shock to me. Iâ€™m trying to take comfort now in the fact that, as my husband pointed out, my mother is remembered in (at least) three faiths.
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