|Frank||[ Profile - Edit Post - Poll ] ||8:37 pm on 6.21.2000|
|Where to start...I was raised in a Christian household and my wife in a Jewish household. We meet in high school and eventually married eight years later. Before we had the first of our three children I agreed to raise the children Jewish under the premises that they know their father's upbringing. Since the birth of our first son my feelings have changed. I have a deep inner feeling to raise a Christian family and have a family that is united, but my wife and family do not know this. I know that I agreed before the birth of our children therefore I can not go back on my word. We are an extremely happy family but both my wife and I know that this can explode at anytime (it is not spoken but we both know it). I refuse to let my children grow up without a mother and a father in the same household, therefore divorce is not an option. |
My reason for posting this bulletin is that I am looking for some helpful tips in a way to approach this matter. My wife believes very much in Judaism and I have all the respect in the world for the religion. I am worried that we will not belong to a community, live a life of not belonging, and the children will be confused. Should I convert?
One of my biggest concerns with converting are:
1. I feel that I will be turning my back on my upbringing.
2. I do believe in Jesus
3. The negative perception of Jewish people by lots of people. I am not one of them and do not condone it, but it is a fact of life. How do I go from the majority to the minority.
This is a tough one but I think God will help us through. Your help will be greatly appreciated.
|EBP2||[ Profile - Edit Post ] ||1:03 pm on 6.22.2000|
|It sounds like you're not sure. You go from wanting to have a christian family to a jewish one. my advice is to talk to your wife about it and don't make any sudden drastic changes.|
at any rate, we could go on forever about your specific situation so I'll answer your specific questions.
1 turning your back on your ubgringing. It doesn't have to be viewed that way if you convert. You don't have to forget about all that stuff and you don't have deprive your children of lessons of your heritage, you just have to abandon it's practice. My great grandparents used to churn their own butter. I tell that story as one of cultural significance, but I don't churn my own butter.
2 believing in Jesus. Believe how? Probably the limit of permissibility under Judaism is believing that he existed and that he had some good ideas (mostly not his own), and maybe was even a skilled Torah scholar (which I kind of doubt myself) but any preoccupation with the man is going to make Jews nervous, especially rabbis who would convert you.
As soon as converts learn about Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Hillel, anything Jesus taught is absorbed back to its original source. Sorry if that offends anyone, but that's how it is delt with.
3. This is a serious problem too. In fact, it's a requirement for conversion that you answer this question "Why do you want to become a member of a hated people?" Of course being married to a Jew and having Jewish children isn't going to win you any popularity contests either, so you've already made that decision whether you wanted to or not.
This is a tough one. I hope everyone on this list reads your story.
|Sarah||[ Profile - Edit Post ] ||4:22 am on 6.24.2000|
I really think you should seek professional counseling before your mid life crisis burns a bridge you won't be able to rebuild. Your letter sounds as if you have a family life you like, but you suspect it should/could be better. This is what marriage counselors do for a living and you should find one before it is too late.
If you believe in Jesus, you won't make a happy convert to Judiasm. I have a difficult time believing that you have spent more than 8 years in a loving relationship with a Jewish mate (and are raising Jewish children) and think that you can love Jesus and consider converting.
You need more help than a few postings on an internet site will give you. Ask your family doctor for the name and number of a good counselor. Don't become a divorce statistic, get help NOW.
|alf||[ Profile - Edit Post ] ||5:48 pm on 6.27.2000|
|Right. Why are you spilling this to us and not your wife? Get counseling if that wont come easily.|
You bring up conversion. I suspect that actually you Do want to convert, but that it just seems foreign for many reasons. I was in somewhat of the reverse situation, and ended up converting FROm Judaism to Catholicism. Really, my beliefs had been evolving this way anyhow, but I think I subdued the idea so much for so long because the idea of a Jew converting to Christianity seemed so foreign by everything I had learned as a Jew.
Thus, I get to the same question as others---what do you mean by belief in Jesus? If your definition includes his being divine and having a role in forgiveness of sin, you are still Christian. Or is it more that you believe in his teachings and admire the positive effect that belief in him has brought to other Christians, and all the theology is just a bunch of hazy ideas to you? If it is more like the latter, and you truly feel drawn to Judaism, I suspect that you should convert, but that you need to address your fears of abandoning heritage and being part of the persecuted minority FIRST.
You are appropriately committed first and foremost to NOT breaking up your family. Keep your eye on that ball. Do what you need to do to make that true. Dont worry about offending others on the outside or hurting your own pride.
Talk to your wife, explore your beliefs, and get some counseling. I think you'll all be fine.
|Rivkala||[ Profile - Edit Post ] ||2:31 pm on 7.11.2000|
You might be interested in the Jewish-Catholic e-mail group at egroups.com. I think the link would be
it might be "list" instead of "list" or "Catholic_Jewish" instead of "Jewish_Catholic."
There are a lot of people there struggling through what you are going through, feeling like they might be some of both but needing to be one or the other, confused about Jesus (although you might not be confused).
One of the hard things about finding a counselor is that you'll be at the mercy of whatever their religious or moral beliefs are. It would be hard to find anyone really neutral, I'd imagine.
|Sarah||[ Profile - Edit Post ] ||3:24 am on 7.12.2000|
|I disagree with the last paragraph. A counselor's personal religion or opinions on religion should not enter into his/her counseling sessions. The same is obviously not true for a minister/priest/rabbi/etc. A good counselor listens as you work through your situation, offers suggestions to help you accomplish YOUR goals, and helps to open up possibilities that individuals cannot see by themselves. The religious bent of a counselor should be no more important to the client than the electrician's religion.
|Frank||[ Profile - Edit Post ] ||3:07 pm on 7.18.2000|
|Hey guys, thanks for your input it has been very helpful. |
Jesus...I was raised to believe he is the Son of God and he died for our sins. We are here today b/c of him, he is our savior. That is my belief regarding the man.
Rivkala, thanks for the website, I will check it out.
EBP2, you do have a good grasp of the situation but if I abandon my religion's practice then I am in esscense not teaching my children about my hertiage and so forth. One question that puzzles me and I have not come upon an answer is "WHY are the Jewish people a "hated people"? WHY?
Sarah and Alf, I posted a discussion point here just to start the process of information gathering before confronting my wife about this. This is not an easy subject and one that can divide a family. Believe it or not we are very happily married and have a great family with lots of love. The only missing piece is the religion. We both know it is not ideal but we also know that we will not get a divorce because:
1. We love each other very much
2. Our kids will grow up in a house with a mother and father.
I have contacted a counselor that is part of a temple in our city and we are meeting in August. I will keep in mind that he will have a Jewish perpective but hopefully he will play the part of a counselor and listen and advise neutrally as a marriage counselor should.
I at least have the ball rolling and I am sure this will end in a happily ever after story.
|EBP2||[ Profile - Edit Post ] ||4:47 pm on 7.18.2000|
|frank, you should not even consider converting. You're a christian.|
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