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Interfaith: Both very religious- i'm protestant, hes jewish

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Im 21 years old, and i have been dating my jewish boyfriend for four years. I am about to graduate from college, and need to know where things are going with us. We are so in love, but the big problem is religion. we both come from religious families, my sister is a minster, and he went to a privtie jewish school. Needless to say, our faiths are priority to us. Though I would give up having my sister marry us because of religion, i can not give up my protestant faith with children. Whenver the subject comes up my boyfriend tells me his children will be jewish. He thinks that because I am a christian and believe in jewish history I should just be jewish and celebrate jewish hoildays. this is impossible for me. We come from an extreamly jewish city, and most of our friends growing up were raised in jewish and christian households, and then were able to chose what was right for them. This is what i think would be wonderful since i do not think you should be a religion because your parents were, it should be a soul searching process.


The question is, do you think it is wrong to do that to children (will they be confused) , and when i move away next fall for law school, what should i accept from my boyfriend... should i look for a big commitment, or leave things as they are. I just don't want to spend the next three years of my life ignorning other people i could be dating if my boyfriend won't even comprimise with me in the end. I love him more then anything else, but I have to have God be number one, so what do i choose??[/b]

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I am not very good, but I want to reply anyway...


sounds like some sort of detailed, well worked out compromise is in order. If you both love each other than maybe you should come up with what religious concepts are ok to be taught and what are not (I suppose the existence/credibility of Christ will be a sensitive subject). I think it will be hard but possible, after all one can raise kids to be proper and all that jazz without heavily relying of higher powers, good example and such will do.

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Ok, from what I understood of the Jewish religion, you have to be born into it, you can't just decide to convert. So your children would be jewish by birth, though they may choose to practice it or not. Is there any reason you couldn't celebrate both sets of holidays? I know a couple who did this, and their kids LOVED it, he was Jewish, she wasn't.


I agree with hollybells - sounds like a compromise is in order - maybe raising your children with exposure to both faiths and let them choose which they feel more comfortable with as they approach adolescence and can make up their own minds? Religion is always better as a faith when it's a free decision instead of forced - you'd both know then they'd made their decisions because it was what they truly felt in their hearts. The two of you love each other in spite of being different religions - as long as that kind of respect and love is in the family you make together, having more than one faith in the family should be a bonus, not cause for conflict.


Is there an open-minded rabbi in your area you can talk to and ask him or her if they'd be willing to talk to him and you together? Maybe if he hears what you're saying from a religious leader he respects, he might be more open to compromising with you.

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I can relate as well,

teach your children the meaning of christ, not nessecerily the religeon but the MEANING, we as followers of God forget that God is everywhere not just in one religeon but in all othem one way or form or another,

Celebrate both Christian and Jewish Holidays, and teach your children meanings and differences of both and as your children grow up they can one day decide what religeon they chose if any.

I am very religeous and I believe that as long as your children know that there is a God then they will be ok.

Show, teach them about your religeon and your bf's religeon, show them pictures, read them stories from both, but the main thing is some way or another teach them the word of god and Christ that should be your main worry, don't you think?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi! Being a Jewish woman, I am hoping that I could offer another perspective to this discussion. This type of a relationship is actually something that I've been struggling with for a while whether or not I would like to get involved with. I can understand how difficult it would be for you to give up your religion and all of your traditions to believe what your boyfriend believes. It is unreasonable to expect anyone to give up their core beliefs just because they are in love with someone. I also understand your boyfriend's wish to raise his children to be Jewish. From seeing friends who have been brought up in interfaith homes, I can see how difficult it is to not have one clear direction about what you should believe. To some, celebrating both Jewish and Christian holidays could be looked at as a bit of a contradiction. Because, as a rule of thumb, Jews do not believe in Jesus, it would be incredibly hard to celebrate Christmas and Easter with children who are brought up Jewish also. It is a very difficult balance and can be very confusing. Best of luck with your decision! Let me know how it turns out!

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  • 2 years later...
Ok, from what I understood of the Jewish religion, you have to be born into it, you can't just decide to convert. So your children would be jewish by birth, though they may choose to practice it or not. Is there any reason you couldn't celebrate both sets of holidays? I know a couple who did this, and their kids LOVED it, he was Jewish, she wasn't.

My friend's mother converted to Judaism since his father refused to have christian children. While it isn't impossible, it is a long and hard process. You have to study the religion for several years, and then you much take a test from a rabbi, and only then, if he feels that you are actually ready, you can convert.

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amogt - this is quite the quandry.


I really understand how you feel. Whilst I am a very outspoken atheist, I do believe that when it comes to raising children...we all want what we think is the best for them.


Seems to me, and this is just me, that you both have similar stances, ie a belief in a higher power. The structure may be a bit different, but the core beliefs are the same.


But if it's a matter of specifics, and the fundamentals of the two religions are too different to compromise, I say don't. You have to do what you think would be the best and smoothest for your kids.


As a parent already, I KNOW kids can handle all the information you give them. I DON'T think it would be too confusing to have parents of two different religions and teach them the similarities and the differences of each and why the two of you believe the way you do.


But if you feel it's too much, that's something you're going to have to do.


I know for sure, there is no way I would be OK with my children being raised with something that went the polar opposite of my beliefs.

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this subject is very important in a long term relationship. As both of you are very religious with the belief in your faith i think that these 2 religion are mutially exclusive of one another. If both are not willing to give on this subject i would recommend that you end your relationship with him and look for someone more competible.

To be honest, if both of you cant even talk about the differences of your religion or your future within each other religion why are you with each other. As you said religion is VERY important toboth of you.

As for bringing you children up with both religions and telling them choosem that is a good idea conceptually. But are they going to be Baptised when they are below 5 years? because then, they didnt even choose.

that is my opinion.

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I'm luckier in that the differences between Church of England and the Roman Catholic church are much less. I attend Catholic services with my family bit have never officially converted but am treated as "one of us". there are several mixed couples in our congregation.

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