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Switch to Forum Live View Baby and the bathwater--reform friendly please
7 years ago  ::  Mar 25, 2008 - 7:00PM #1
phaco
Posts: 30
I want some advice on what to say to friend who I feel is abandoning Judaism for the wrong reasons, and may regret her decisions later.

My friend was raised by her Jewish father and non-Jewish stepmother.  (NonJewish mother more or less out of the picture).  She wanted to be really sure she was Jewish, so she converted complete with Mikveh and Beit Din in her early-mid twenties.  She maintained contact with the rabbi who helped her with the conversion for 10-14 years through various moves on both of their parts.  She considered him a close friend. 

In her mid thirties, after years of "Matzah Balls" and Jewish singles casino nights, she decided to start dating non-Jews.  She found a great guy, raised "spiritual" with no organized religious attendence.  When she asked "her rabbi" to marry them, he said not unless the guy converted.  He would not offer any kind of blessing, or even attend the wedding otherwise.

She became quite upset. She got married...on Yom Kippur.  She is now sending me all of her Jewish books, candlesticks, etc because she  "doesn't need them anymore."

So what should I say to my friend?  We were always the two Jewish girls from NJ in the South.  We used to go to services together, etc.  I know that Judaism used to be an important part of her life and identity.

Any suggestions on how to tell her not to throw it all away, without sounding preachy?
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 25, 2008 - 7:26PM #2
mlarue75
Posts: 1,199
[QUOTE=phaco;382999]IShe found a great guy, raised "spiritual" with no organized religious attendence.  When she asked "her rabbi" to marry them, he said not unless the guy converted.  He would not offer any kind of blessing, or even attend the wedding otherwise.

She became quite upset. She got married...on Yom Kippur.  She is now sending me all of her Jewish books, candlesticks, etc because she  "doesn't need them anymore."

So what should I say to my friend?  We were always the two Jewish girls from NJ in the South.  We used to go to services together, etc.  I know that Judaism used to be an important part of her life and identity.

Any suggestions on how to tell her not to throw it all away, without sounding preachy?[/QUOTE]First of all, how sad.  Your friend feels deeply betrayed by her rabbi, and so is chucking the whole kit and caboodle.  She must be VERY angry or she wouldn't have scheduled the wedding on Yom Kippur.  Wow, what a message!

Please don't preach or even get remotely close to it.  Don't make her feel that you too are judging her.  Concentrate on the other facets of your friendship.  She needs you now, and eventually she will calm down about all this.  ("Eventually" may mean years.)  Keep all her Jewish stuff safe for her, and let her be the one to bring up the topic if she wants to.
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2008 - 2:29AM #3
NaftaliNZ
Posts: 193
I agree.  She's angry, hurt and feels rejected.  After time she'll remember that "hey.. I'm still Jewish" and can make some good with the life she has now.  haShem willing before she has children!  (They can still be raised Jewish!).

I feel one day she'll come to you - feeling sorry for "throwing it all away".  It would be such a beautiful blessing if you kept her things safe for that time.

Pressure wont fix anything.  Patience and love and respecting how she feels is what she needs right now.

Judaism can be so cruel sometimes.  Certain Rabbi's for all their wisdom can be such fools.
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2008 - 8:37AM #4
yosefrachamim
Posts: 374

NaftaliNZ wrote:


Judaism can be so cruel sometimes. Certain Rabbi's for all their wisdom can be such fools.



Intermarriage is forbidden by Jewish Law.

...so he should have performed the wedding?? That's what a good Rabbi would have done? Or celebrate her intermarriage by going to the wedding, giving his tacit approval?

Come on now!

Do you not think Judaism stands for anything? Or is it all about making sure people are happy with whatever they choose to do in life?

If this is her path, perhaps her conversion was a mistake. We'll see in time.

Life is not easy and being a Jew is not easy....but it's not as hard today as it was in the past, so let's get a grip here. This is why the conversion process is long and hard, to insure the sincerity of the convert.

Yosef

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7 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2008 - 8:53AM #5
Bunsinspace
Posts: 5,931
BS"D

Phaco,

Tell your friend your Jewish friends on BNet understand and anytime she wants to do Tschuvah she is welcome to return. The doors are always open. Meanwhile we wish her the best of happiness in her new life and we will be there anytime she wants to come back to a Jewish community. ;)

Also tell her you'll keep her things for her (if it's not too much trouble) for when she decides to return to her observance, if she ever decides to and that regardless of what she does she always will be a Jew and will always have a home among her own people.
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2008 - 12:56PM #6
agnon1
Posts: 161
Yosef

The poster asked for Reform-friendly answers.
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2008 - 1:00PM #7
agnon1
Posts: 161
Phaco

Give your friend's Jewish stuff to the Rabbi and thank him for driving another Jew from the fold. Then give him a copy of the recent study that showed that when Rabbis perform intermarriage ceremonies the couples overwhelmingly choose to raise the children as Jews.
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2008 - 2:34PM #8
yosefrachamim
Posts: 374

agnon1 wrote:

Yosef

The poster asked for Reform-friendly answers.



From the Reform Judaism Website:

The Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR). The position, voted on in 1973 and recently affirmed, is the following:
[LIST]
[*][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]"The Central Conference of American Rabbis, recalling its stand adopted in 1909 that mixed marriage is contrary to the Jewish tradition and should be discouraged, now declares its opposition to participation by its members in any ceremony which solemnizes a mixed marriage.[/FONT][/LIST]LINK

Friendly enough for ya?

Yosef

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7 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2008 - 2:36PM #9
yosefrachamim
Posts: 374

agnon1 wrote:

Phaco

Give your friend's Jewish stuff to the Rabbi and thank him for driving another Jew from the fold. .



...another plug for "Anything Goes Judaism".

...sung to the tune of Kumbaya

Yosef

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7 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2008 - 3:50PM #10
agnon1
Posts: 161
I don't go much for Kumbaya.


Perhaps something a bit more Carlebachian,  or even the Muppet's Rainbow Connection...
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