Post # 1
Hi – well, my FI is Jewish and I’m agnostic. Seems like as we progress in planning more and more I’m being pulled into a traditional ceremony with overtones of Judaism. I found a rabbi I’m comfortable with, who’s comfortable with me, but between FI and rabbi it’s hard for me to feel represented in this process. For example, FI is upset at this point with me continuing to say I’m uncomfortable with having prayer in Hebrew… part of his reasoning is that he thinks I should have an alternative choice, when my real choice would be a very different/nontraditional nonceremony. It’s not like I don’t respect FI’s religion, it’s just not mine, and I’m not feeling up to creating a ceremony to blend his, so I’m feeling stuck. I guess I’m wondering if this makes sense to anyone else.
Post # 3
In the end I think it is important that BOTH voices are heard in the ceremony. Mr. Hedgie is Jewish and I am Christian and it has been a challange to make sure both our beliefs are as equally represented as possible but worth it. So there will be things I am not a HUGE fan of but are important to him. (Like both his parents awlking him down the aisle. I don’t know why that bugs me so much but it does.) So as long as you make sure that your beliefs are represented then having Jewish aspects will be a lot easier for you. I hope that made any sense.
Post # 4
I think that it would be easier if you had beliefs that could be incorporated into the ceremony. The problem with agnosticism is that they don’t have any (universal, at least) traditions to be performed at a religious ceremony, so if you’re not feeling motivated to create them I think that your Fi’s traditions are going to overpower the ceremony by virtue of the fact that he has an example schedule to follow.
You need to decide what you would put into your ceremony to make it “you” and do those things. If you’re uncomfortable with a Hebrew prayer, what would you want in its place?
Post # 5
Interesting point; it’s funny, for me the freedom of agnosticism is the fact that I’m not bound to one particular tradition, but I see that it’s the source of my difficulty here. Frankly I’d rather have a very simple secular ceremony, but I need to respect the fact that my FI has a particular tradition and incorporate that with my ideas. That’s the real issue, where the middle ground is when one of us has such a rich tradition of a particular religion. It’s so easy for one or the other of us to get overwhelmed with either the lack or the presence of specific religious practices.
Post # 6
This is a red flag and if you don’t address it now, it will come up again when you have children. What about high holy days? Will he go off to temple without you? Will you beholding sit at his family’s Sedar? What about the creater picture after the wedding ceremony?
The side of the coin that he doesn’t see, is that the Jewish religion is a maternal faith. So if the mom isn’t Jewish, the kids aren’t.
I would insist on having someone from the Unitarian Church who would balance this service out. Unitarians can be many things and nothing. Find one in your area and call the spiritual leader.
I feel uncomfortable that you are uncomfortable.
Post # 7
Thanks for the response. To address your worries – 1) we’re not having children, we’re both in our late 40s and had the conversation about that a while ago; 2) we’ve been together over 5 years, living together 2 1/2, and have been through Passover, Yom Kippur, Chanukkah. I’ve gone with him to several Bar/Bat Mitzvahs in his family, I will continue to do so if he asks me. FI is devout, not observant as in he does not go to temple, but if he did he would go alone unless he asked me for a specific reason, since I don’t share his faith. He hasn’t stated that this is a problem for him, he understands my spirituality and lack of commitment to any organized religion and that I am not converting; he has accepted this. FI observes his holy days in his own fashion, and he and I have worked out compromises along the way – I give him Hanukkah gifts, we have a small tree @ Xmas time (I am not Christian but I follow the tradition as a secular holiday in the US and enjoy it for many reasons), I don’t torture him with bread during Passover, etc.
We’re having a rabbi perform our ceremony, but our rabbi is unusual, to put it best. The rabbi has been open to my ideas re: ceremony, nonjudgmental, accepting and a pleasure to work with. My concerns were as stated previously; how to blend my lack of organized religion with his need for traditions/customs from Judaism in our wedding ceremony.
Again, I appreciate the concern, and thanks for the feedback.