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Differences in religion/culture - is it over?


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I was dating someone for 6 months. We truly enjoyed being with one another and I could see us being together long-term. I wouldn't say I was in love with him only because 6 months is too short to really know but I think I/we were probably headed in that direction. I'm 24, he's 25. The problem is he is Jewish and I am Christian.


During the 6 months he told me he wasn't sure if he wanted to marry Jewish or not. He tried meeting/dating Jewish women before he decided that meeting the right person is hard enough, so it shouldn't matter what religion she is in as long as they are happy together. He said it is more the culture/heritage that mattered to him rather than the religion for his future family. Like I said, I really liked him so I prayed about it, read some bible material and told him all the things I am willing to compromise on.


I'm willing to raise my children Jewish (it is the same God and it is more important to foster in them a love for God) and celebrate the Jewish holidays (I don't know of any holidays that conflict with Christianity, and raising kids with a single culture/traditions -- rather than to confuse them with both judaism & christianity -- is less confusing). Christians do not look down on interfaith marriage but Judaism doesn't accept it. On the topic of kids, I told him all the things that were most important to me - I want a happy home, someone who is a good husband and father, kids who love and appreciate God. When they grow up, if they love their Jewish upbringing enough (and I will try my best at this if he was willing to teach me how) they will not stray from Judaism.


Neither of us are really hardcore about religion. I go to bible study but not Sunday service; he does not attend any religious service but he does keep kosher and his family observes shabbat and the holidays. FWIW, I started following the rules of the Kosher diet he told me about approx. 2 months into the relationship. He never asked me to but I wanted to see what it was like. (I did pretty well =D)


He went home for Passover sedar. When he came back Tuesday night he said he made his decision; he wants to have a Jewish family and home and therefore does not see a future for us. I was so heartbroken. Yesterday (Fri) he said logic tells him he should not be with me but that 'something feels wrong' so he should be with me again. I really like this guy. My logic and emotions tell me different things as well. Is there even a chance for us again? I have already offered and reminded him of everything I can offer (my willingness to compromise). I kind of realize there is nothing more I can do but I'm still hoping there is still a chance. What do you think? Advice?

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It depends on how important religion is to you. One of my exes was Southern Baptist and I am Catholic. Neither one of us is devout, but it did cause us to break up because of various issues, including the wedding and the baptism of children. His family would have wanted me to convert, but I wouldn't. They would have wanted a simple wedding with no booze, while my family love to drink. I know many people who married people of other religions, but it depends on the religion.


Is your love over? Who knows. Personally I'd prefer to marry a Catholic (the guy I like is Catholic) but would consider someone who was say Lutheran, Episcopalian (my paternal grandmother was Anglican), etc. I actually have a great grandparent that was Jewish, but he converted to Catholicism.

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I had the same situation when I was rejected after few dates because I am not Jewish. So it is not over, at least not for Jewish people. And the problem is - it is easier if a woman is Jewish - then according to religion the kids are Jewish too, but not the other way around. It is really frustrating...but it is the reality which we need to accept.

Plus in Jewish families the parents have more influence and it could be their contribution too.

I don't have an advice for you - it is not so infrequent situation and people deal with it differently. You already showed your acceptance of his religion so you have done your part. If he loves his traditions more than you...then what can you do?

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All it took was an evening at a Passover Seder to make him change his mind. It sounds to me like he feels his Jewish roots a lot and I am not sure this is going to work out for you since he feels so conflicted. Also, remember that if you married him and had children, unless you went the long road of official conversion to Judaism the children would never be considered officially Jewish. The mother has to be Jewish by birth or officially converted to Judaism in order for the children to be considered Jewish. It wouldn't be enough for you to eat kosher and observe the holidays, you would have to do the requisite classes and do the requisite learning under the guidance of a Rabbi. It is a tough situation. Intermarriage is indeed pretty common, and many Reform Synagogues welcome with open arms, non-Jewish spouses. However, it really comes down to the comfort level of the individual people involved.

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I'm not against inter-faith relationships at all, but IMO it would be best if you really thought about whether you'd really be ok with your children being Jewish. It's true that you both worship the same God, but they do not believe in the central aspect of your faith - Christ.


I'm not a strict Christian either, and I'd be ok with my children learning different religions except for ones that are law-based, which to me, in my admittedly limited knowledge, is what Judaism is.

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