~Thursday, October 04, 2012

Jew and Me

This conversation was not going as well as I thought it was going to go. Previously I always thought my mother wanted me married off. Who the man was didn't really matter. Now when I'm actually talking about it, she's shied away from the idea of marriage. Two bad marriages will do that to a person I guess.

"Mom, I told him that if we get married, I'll convert to Judaism."

Her initial response: "Aren't you worried about going to hell?"

That escalated quickly.

"Jews don't believe in hell," I quipped.

"Well that's convenient."

Oh holy shit. Can I say that in this instance? Ho-ly shit.

"I don't believe that Jews go to hell. I don't. I believe that God is good and wants good for us and wants us to do good."

"It's not that Jews don't believe in hell," I continued. "They don't know what happens in the afterlife, and they don't pretend to know. They believe that the focus should be on our time on Earth and to make Earth as good as possible. That's why they do acts of service."

"Well that sounds nice," she softened. "But he was born into Judaism. You would be turning your back on what you were taught."

This argument didn't even begin to make sense to me.

"As long as you are comfortable with coming to terms with your soul in the afterlife," she added.

For a lady who wasn't born and raised in the Bible Belt, my mother sure got the language down.


My father's response when I told him: "Don't tell your mother."

Please, please, please let's not have a religious discussion in the comments section. This post was about me telling my parents about a serious decision.


Anonymous said...

Whoa. Careful, your mom might throw down! Or the shock will pass and she will realize that love knows no bounds.

Dawn said...

Ick! I'm sorry that it didn't go as easily as you thought it would.

If I had to guess: she's never going to love it, but she is going to accept it. Just a hunch.

Bexxx said...

Mom's are all crazy. My boyfriend is an atheist and when I told my mom that we probably wouldn't get married in the church, she was devastated. DEVASTATED, going on about how it wouldn't be recognized by God blah blah blah.

Meanwhile, she hasn't been to church of her own volition in... 10 years possibly?

Hopefully your mom gets over it, especially as you learn more about Judaism. Some people find it to be a very beautiful religion and she may realize that too.

Lpeg said...

My bf is pretty much an atheist as well. He believes in something bigger, but no particular religion. And I was raised Catholic. Bf and I have had this conversation a few times - as in "How do we tell my family?" I am hardly a practicing catholic anymore, so it wouldn't really bother me (not that I've thought a lot about it just yet) to not get married in a church.

But if I ever told them I was converting - oh holy hell :)

I think right now I need to get my family to like my bf. That's step one...

ps. I liked your dad's response!

Anonymous said...

Sarah I know I keep saying this but I'm absolutely thrilled for you and Abe. Your mom will come around, especially when the grandkids start showing up.

Danielle said...

She should have just said what Samantha said when Charlotte told them she was becoming a Jew for Harry:

"Isn't that a lot of hoop jumping to go through for a man?"

Gotta admit, that would have been pretty badass.

Oh well. Parents just want the best for there children, and if she doesn't see this as being the best now, she eventually will.

I'm interested to know how Abrahams family feels about it though... Considering his Dad raised some questions about your guy's kids being Jewish...

The Mad Inscriber said...

Well, grandchildren soften all but the most intractable of hearts; your mother likely just needs some education and exposure - and time. Hey, as you learn, you can teach her, too. Or, you know, however you decide to handle it.

nuttycow said...

Not an easy conversation to have but I'm glad that a) you and A have discussed it - that bodes well for the relationship and b) that you feel you can talk to your mum about it (yes, mum, I am English after all!)

She may come to terms with it, she may not. However, when it comes to it, it's got to be your decision.

Much love x

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine it ever being easy. I'm a Hindu born and raised currently dating a Muslim guy - the two most opposite religions ever! Your mum will come around. I think all parents do once they realise that their children have made the right decision. And I think Abe is the right decision. :)

Anonymous said...

This is just one of those things people have no choice but to accept and get over or else they likely won't be a very big part of your life anymore. I think the jewish religion is beautiful and the only religion that actually ever resonated with me.

Red Stethoscope said...

Why are mothers crazy people? Seriously. On the upside, she hasn't made any snide remarks to Abraham's face about it. Yet.

Readyandfading said...

It will take some time for her to get used to.

If she doesn't, well, then, she won't, but as someone mentioned, grandkids always help!

Also, I think that this is a beautiful compromise that you would consider because perhaps A is your soul mate and doing this for him is much better than living without him.

I can't wait to see what happens! I've said it before, but I love you guys (virtually of course) together.

Toddy said...

I think the whole conversion thing is tricky. Do you believe in Judaism? Enough to change religions and practice that faith? I know the mother of Jewish children is supposed to be Jewish but still... I guess I'm not sure about having to be the same religion as a partner, if you aren't that religious to begin with or accept them for their different religion and they respecting you come from your own? I guess my point is everyone above said ur mom was crazy or overreacting. Changing religion is a big deal. She just wants the best for you. But it's awesome you're so happy and committed. Cheers!

Bathwater said...

I think my mother would have a fit over something like this too and I never seen her even go to church.

Mummy Dearest said...

Shabbat Shalom.

I don't know that anyone to takes well to change. Perhaps mom will get used to the idea or perhaps she will buy your first born son a Jesus is my Homeboy onsie to his bris. Seriously you know she only wants the best for you.

As do I. L'Chiam.

Cheery Cherry said...

I hope her focus will ease up a bit on this and she realizes the most important part of this is how happy Abe and you are together. Happiness is always the most important thing in a relationship --with it you can work through almost everything else, good and bad.

Also, I didn't know that Jews don't have a specific view of the afterlife. It's actually kind of beautiful, to believe in doing the good you can here and now, rather than speculate and be concerned about where good deeds might get you later on. I guess it makes things seem more genuine, doing it out of the goodness of your heart, rather than a "What's in it for me?" kind of attitude.

cj said...

Maybe I'm being naive here, but truly deciding to commit yourself to a religion is a strictly personal matter. No matter how the choice fits into the relationship, it's really about one person and how she chooses to relate to God. I get that this is a dating blog, but glossing over the gravity of your decision and focusing on anecdotal reactions to the announcement seems... empty at best, blatantly disrespectful at worst. I'm not saying that this is how you actually feel- just that taking an offhand approach (especially with the post title) definitely gives that impression.

Sarah said...

You're right: it is a strictly personal matter and this is a dating blog; therefore I don't owe anybody an explanation about the gravity of my decision.


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