(Closed) Interfaith holiday sadness

posted 10 years ago in Interfaith
Post # 17
Member
699 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

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@Missbliss: Different Unitarian congregations may treat things differently, but I know that the church I was raised in very much respected both religions/traditions.  It is true, however, that they didn’t offer High Holy Day services.

Post # 18
Member
169 posts
Blushing bee

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@scaredybee: I am Jewish and was taught that we go by the mom’s religion because you will ALWAYS know who the mom is (not always true for dad)!

Post # 19
Member
368 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

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@Missbliss:

Jews for Jesus is an evangelical group and is probably not a mid-point for  Jewish-Christian couple.

Post # 20
Member
899 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

The interfaith part of your worries is something you and your OH will need to continuously discuss throughout the years.

On the traditions front, this isn’t limited to couples with different faiths. Both myself and my OH are Christian and yet we have quite different views on celebrating. The Christmas tree incident you mention was reinacted in our house this afternoon – I am insistant on having a Christmas tree, he doesn’t see the point (especially as we visit family on Christmas Day itself). This year, he spent several days telling me that we didn’t have space for a tree (and I have a very small one!). Eventually, today, I put the tree up and decorated it. He sat on the sofa watching TV.

I used to think that this was incredibly uncaring of him, but have come to realise that he doesn’t enjoy Christmas trees and similar traditions and it would be unfair of me to try and force him to take part. I now enjoy these things by myself or with friends.

RainStorm x

Post # 21
Member
893 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Just wanted to second

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@stacycats: point. Jewish people will generally not participate in Messianic congregations.

Post # 22
Member
287 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

i don’t have any huge revelations that haven’t already been mentioned, but i think this is definitely something to talk about and bring up in pre-martial therapy. we are an interfaith and intercultural marriage and although neither of us as relgious or particularly “cultural” i was surprised by how helpful talking about it was.

i would highly, highly consider checking out the unitarian church as a way to expose your children to a variety of traditions while still honoring your own. i think it is difficult to try to raise kids in both religions completely on your own – it seems like unitarianism helps to structure this for you.

i am jewish and Fiance is secular/athiest/buddhist-ish. even though both of my parents are jewish, we always had a tree because its part of the american culture. we did hanukah this year, where my chinese husband read the prayers off the box of candles. he is interested and wants to learn and I think that effort is what really is important.

just a side note – i dated pretty much exclusively jewish before meeting hubs and i had many, many more conflicts with those guys that i do with hubby. just because you are the same religion in name doesn’t mean you believe or practice the same things at all. i’d just be wary about the labeling and thinking that you would have absolutely none of these problems if you were with a christian.

Post # 23
Member
125 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

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@andy113:  I was just excited to hear about another non-Jewish spouse reading the Hanukkah prayers off the box of candles…’cause that’s me too!  Solidarity.  🙂 

Post # 24
Member
2050 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

You have some valid concerns before going into your marriage. The part that struck me most of what you wrote was “supposedly we are both okay with our children not being raised primarily in one religion or the other, but we have no idea how that is going to play out in practice.” Maybe it’s time to talk about that and figure that out? Or at least, figure out the basic structure of how that would play out? The strength of your relationship is being tested here in terms of how well you can each communicate and work out your wishes for your future family. Talk about it now, before years of resentment and guilt build up unnecessarily. Who needs that? Figure out as much of it as you can now. Nip it in the bud. Talk with your fiance’ about how you would both plan to raise your children with equal education of each faith. Will they go to Sunday school? Exactly how will holidays be celebrated? Will he be offended if you and your child(ren) decorate the Christmas tree, or will you be offended when it is time to light the Menorah? What will you all do for Yom Kippur? Passover? Easter? In your daily lives throughout the year? Perhaps a good starting point is to focus more on the similarities of your faiths as opposed to the differences. What are the teachings or general principles that are shared by each of your faiths? I hope you can both talk about it now. You owe it to yourselves to discuss it now, and you owe it to your future family to feel more grounded as a couple in this regard. Best of luck to you.

Post # 25
Member
77 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I wanted to respond to this post because I am in the same position. My Fiance was raised by a Catholic mom and a Jewish dad. He never chose a religion, and both his parents are non practicing. I was born and raised Catholic and attend Catholic school from K-12. Needless to say I feel much stronger about my religion than my Fiance does.

Thankfully we celebrate all the Catholic holidays with both sets of parents and in our house. It is hard though, because he really doesn’t get the meaning behind the holidays. He agreed to let me raise our future children Catholic, after many dicussions which were very emotional and complicated. I am so grateful for an understanding Fiance, and compromises we have made that promise we can get through anything in our relationship.

The best advise I have is to talk it out. Hopefully things will get resolved, and you will find out how to respect each others religions while making it work for you BOTH. It’s all about compromise! Good luck!

Post # 26
Member
68 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I am Episcopalian (Easter and Christmas) and my fiance is Jewish (hasn’t been to temple for a service since his bar mitzvah but will attend a seder every now and again). Our situation is different it seems than yours as we aren’t very religious but more spiritual–we both believe in a higher power and actually have quite similar views in that arena. So, this might have made it easier for us…

That said, we celebrate Chrismukkah (yes, I got the idea from the OC)–we got a white tree with blue lights and decorated it with as many star of david ornaments as we could find (which was sadly about three), ornamants from childhood, and a great star of david tree topper. We gave each other presents during Hanukkah as well as on Christmas morning–my mom got us bagels and lox to eat before we went to church.  We both had an absolute blast decorating the tree and going to Christmas service with my mom, as well as making latkes and celebrating Hannukah w/his family.  His family was a tad hesitant about the tree when they heard about it, but loved it once they saw it and realized it really was a Chrismukkah tree–they loved the star of david and menorah ornaments and recognized that I really went out of my way to combine the two faiths. 

We ended up discussing how we want to raise our children on Christmas night, of all times, and decided that we are going to expose them to both Christianity and Judaism–we will continue to do Xmas and Easter with my mom and Passover, Rosh Hashanna, Hanukkah, etc. with his. Then when they are older they can choose for themselves if they want to affiliate with one religion or another.

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