Post # 1
My FI and I both come from Jewish families. My FI grew up reform/conservative and had a bar mitzvah. I come from a very reform household (only celebrated major holidays, had an impromptu “bat mitzvah” on my birthright trip a few years back).
Neither of us are really believers of the jewish faith, and any connection we feel to judaism is more of a cultural one, since we did grow up with some of the jewish traditions (him moreso than me).
My mother (who is more jewish than us) has expressed that she’d like for us to have a jewish ceremony (chuppah, seven blessings, breaking the glass, etc.), and I admit I like the idea—even though we’re not religiously jewish, a jewish ceremony would be a nice symbol of our cultural background and I want my mom to be happy. BUT my FI doesn’t feel comfortable with it—he feels we’re being inauthentic since we’re not practicing members of the jewish faith. I must say, I see where he’s coming from, but now I really like the idea of a jewish ceremony and also want to make my mom happy. What do you think?
Post # 3
@gromble: No more inauthentic than all the Christians who don’t go to church but feel the need to be married in one.
Post # 4
@gromble: I’ve been to a jewish ceremony where neither bride nor groom practised but they grew up in households which did. No one bat an eye, I never even considered it being inappropriate! I think its more a nod to your heritage than a religious thing, and I couldn’t see anyone else thinking otherwise 🙂
On that note Ive also been to two weddings with christian ceremonies (one was a full mass, ugh!) and none of them went to regular church or mass, and I am fairly sure about 50% of the christian ceremonies around are done with brides and grooms who don’t attend church on a regular basis or anything like that… No one cares 🙂
Post # 5
@julies1949: +1 I was going to say the same thing!
I would guess very few people follow all the rules of their religions. I don’t know if that means they don’t deserve to marry in their place of worship but you’re certainly not an outlier.
Post # 6
@julies1949: tehehe +1 just what I said 🙂
Post # 7
Being born and raised Catholic (though in an unpracticing family, even if I had all sacraments then confirmation at age 12), I now consider myself an Agnostic, ever since I’ve turned 18. I do go to church when the events are held there (ex.: baptism, wedding or funerals), but I abstain from communion because I don’t consider myself Catholic anymore, I don’t have the faith, and that is also why we are not getting married in a church.
However, my FSIL got married in church even though she was not practicing. So did my cousin, and she baptized both her kids. There is a part of tradition, too. I would never judge them, because this choice belongs to them, and only they know what’s in their heart, and how they feel about it. Just because FI and I would feel ”unauthentic” and decided not to get married in church, doesn’t mean we expect everybody to do the same.
I don’t know much about Judaism, but I always had the feeling being Jew was closely related to culture and tradition. That you could not ”become” a Jew, your mom had to be one for you to be Jew, or something like that (correct me if I’m wrong). So from an outsider’s perspective, it doesn’t feel unenthentic to me to see a couple having a traditional jewish ceremony even if they don’t practice, I would think it’s also part of their culture. However, your FI has to be on board. He has to feel comfortable having maybe to swear before a god that he might not believe in. That’s the part that I think is extremely personal and both of you have to feel comfortable in this situation.
Post # 8
@NauticalDisaster: + 1 From my knowledge of Judaism (gained from Jewish friends and exes), it often seems more intertwined with family/tradition/cultural identity rather than just religious faith.
Personally I wouldn’t be surprised, as a guest, if a non-practising Jewish couple chose to have a Jewish ceremony.
Post # 9
I could go either way but I wouldn’t do it because of your mother’s wishes. Focus on why you want the ceremony and why your FI doesn’t. Try to compromise based on both of your desires.
Post # 10
@julies1949: I never thought about it that way! I guess that’s true.
Also, I think you bees are right that I need to be more sensitive about my FI not feeling comfortable with it. I do wish I could convince him otherwise though, because I’m liking the idea of it more and more, and I think it’s a nice symbol of our background.
Post # 11
One of my friends is half jewish and half catholic, and got married to a protestant. They ended up having a jewish ceremony, because she preferred a jewish ceremony. She celebrated jewish and christian holidays, and her hubby was agnostic. No one thought it was inauthentic or odd. I thought it was quite beautiful actually.
Post # 12
OP, I wouldn’t be worried about offending people, I would be worried about being true to what is meaningful to you as a couple. If having a Jewish ceremony isn’t important to you or a part of your life that you currently identify with, I’d opt to do something that is.
Post # 13
ETA: I just noticed that your partner isn’t on board – it should be a reflection of what you both want, not what you nagged him into wanting. You can easily incorporate some Jewish cultural elements into a different type of ceremony. We will be including our Russian heritage in our wedding but it will not be the focal point.
Post # 14
@gromble: This is somethign the two of you will have to agree on. As a compromise, you could incorporate elements of the Jewish faith into your ceremony, without having a full on Jewish ceremony. My husband and I are interfaith (he is Catholic, I am Jewish) but neither of us practice. It was important for our parents to incorporate some aspects, so we obliged. We got married by a JP under a Chuppah. We had a unity candle ceremony, had a biblical reading and broke the glass. Everyone seemed happy and we all got a little bit of what we wanted.
Your ceremony should reflect you as a couple and should be what you both want and are comfortable with. There’s plenty of room for middle ground here.
Post # 15
@gromble: I used to live in Israel & definitely feel like a much larger piece of how people identify as “Jewish” is about culture rather than religion. Obviously it didn’t used to be that way, but that’s the norm now days & I think for you to have a Jewish wedding it is definitely still authentic because it is a display of culture & tradition.
Post # 16
One of the nice things about Judaism is that even under the most Orthodox tradition, once you are Jewish, you stay Jewish. Thus, you’re not having to force yourself to believe something that doesn’t seem right to you, just to be part of the religion. So you’re as entitled to a Jewish ceremony as anyone else, assuming you want one.