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to want a religious wedding?

(126 Posts)
flaquark Sun 29-Sep-13 11:13:35

I had always promised DP that if I ever got pregnant we would get married - so we are getting married.
He is letting me decide all the bits and things. I came to the decision that I wanted to get married in a Jewish ceremony.
We are both jewish but both raised secular and dont believe in a God. But do and did all the other bits.
DP doesnt mind either way so there we go.

I have had more than a couple of comments from people that we shouldnt be doing this, that it is distrispectful things like that.

And it has me doubting and thinking that people will think we are just doing it for a 'pretty' wedding day.

Because I think it's relevant - I'm adopted and dont look 'jewish' (being black with white parents does that) (technically means I'm a convert) so I think I tend to wear my Jewness on my sleeve a bit.

AIBU?

flaquark Tue 01-Oct-13 22:53:50

Vivien I did mention that I'm technically a convert
blackberry kind of basically. It isnt a 'sacrement' in the way it is under christiannity (done under jewish law and traditions. It isnt even a mitzvah (commandment). Having children is but marriage never has been so it's more cultural, legal and traditional. (it has been a long time since I was sat in a room learning those things)

Thanks Sam way way better at explaining than I ever could be.

Thanks

LouiseAderyn Tue 01-Oct-13 15:59:27

Sorry Lila, I didn't mean that all registry offices are grotty - only my one at the time of my wedding. It has now been moved to a much more appealing building, which I wiuld hsve been very happy to get married in!

Lilacroses Tue 01-Oct-13 15:20:42

Oh, and there was nothing grotty about the registry office!

I can completely understand that the OP wants the Jewish cultural element on her wedding day. I can't for the life of me see why anyone should be 'offended'.

I am also pleased that Louise thinks that churches are 'pretty'. I think that if I were an atheist I wouldn't like them!

Lilacroses Tue 01-Oct-13 15:19:44

It's your decision Op. I have some Jewish friends who felt very similarly to you. They feel culturally Jewish but are not religious. The mark the important times of the year with their children like you plan to and they would not have considered NOT having a traditional Jewish wedding. Up to them. It was certainly a lovely occasion.

I am gay and got married in a registry office but I would not have married in a church even if that was an option. I'm not religious at all and it would feel meaningless to me. However, I was brought up that way so it isn't part of my family tradition in any way whatsoever whereas it is for you and your partner.

Do what you both feel is right, it's your wedding.

LouiseAderyn Tue 01-Oct-13 15:06:52

Yes I did. I wanted to get married in a nice place, rather than a grotty register office and as I said up thread, as long as the church is endorsed by the state and benefits from that association ( for ex, by having bishops in House of Lords) then I feel entitled to use the church.

I have been to some weddings which were very full on in their religious content - my friend's wedding had a lot of talk about marrying 'in the fear of God'. Mine wasn't like that and I would have deliberately avoided that. Mine was relaxed and funny at times and the vicar was very inclusive of our child and it was lovely. But, yes it had a religious element. I still feel that the religious part was incidental and the vows were a promise between me and dh. I meant them and so they have meaning. Vows are about intention and how you behave having made them.

candycoatedwaterdrops Tue 01-Oct-13 14:28:47

flaquark I am Jewish too and my thoughts and feelings about God are very complex. However, I love all the traditions, festivals, the culture and the family focus which makes me a very proud Jew. As a few others have said, many people don't understand the cultural aspect of being Jewish. I do though and I get where you're coming from and I would feel the same way as you. I've never met a Rabbi who wouldn't welcome you with open arms and they love people who think differently and question. I've had some wonderful debates about the existence of Gods with several well-respected Rabbis and I've been surprised at how willing they listen and have said things to make me think and have never tried to change my mind or try to prove me wrong.

Mazel Tov on your upcoming wedding and the new baby. Go with what feels right in your heart. flowers

Blackberrybakewell Tue 01-Oct-13 13:59:22

Sam thanks for the info, I will look that up.

So, in rudimentary terms, a Jewish wedding is cultural rather than religious and is therefore actually a civil service rather than anything in the eyes of God? If so then the op has got her response to anyone that questions her on her decision to have a Jewish wedding. It sounds like a misunderstanding about the assumption that a Jewish wedding must be, well, Jewish!

Always good to expand one's knowledge!

Blackberrybakewell Tue 01-Oct-13 13:49:38

Louise did you get married in a church in a religious ceremony?

LouiseAderyn Tue 01-Oct-13 13:40:27

BlackBerry, the way I viewed my wedding was that I was making a legally binding agreement and the person conducting the ceremony had been given that authority by the state.
I didnt view the vows as being made before God, but to my dh in the presence of a legal body.

Viviennemary Tue 01-Oct-13 13:14:40

Thank you Sam I misunderstood. Sorry. I looked it up and it is wrong to say a person isn't as Jewish as the next person if they have converted. I've learnt something today!

SamG76 Tue 01-Oct-13 13:14:33

BBW - a Jewish wedding is the signing by witnesses of a ketubah, which is an Aramaic document in which the groom promises to look after his wife and pay her certain amounts if he leaves her. He also gives her a ring. You can google "ketubah" if you want to know more about it, and you can find all sorts of Jewish weddings on you-tube.

There are some blessings, eg over a cup of wine, but they're just padding to the actual ceremony, and they are not made by the bride or groom. No-one would be bothered about the bride or groom's theological understanding or lack of it.

SamG76 Tue 01-Oct-13 13:07:39

Vivien - the point about conversion wasn't meant to criticize you, but rather to show that there aren't multiple tiers of Jews, with converts being at the bottom, and there are safeguards to try to ensure they are not made to feel uncomfortable. Clearly OP mentioned it herself, and it's not an issue on this thread.

Blackberrybakewell Tue 01-Oct-13 13:03:40

I am curious as to how a ceremony can be Jewish but not have any mention of God or religion? Are there no religious connotations at all? Otherwise what makes it a Jewish wedding rather than a non Jewish wedding?! Serious question!

MortifiedAdams Tue 01-Oct-13 12:56:59

I would feel like a hypocrite having a religious wedding as I literally wouldnt believe the words I would be saying.

Its a fake.

Viviennemary Tue 01-Oct-13 12:53:51

The OP herself mentioned the fact in public that she wasn't born Jewish so how are we supposed to know it's a grave wrong to mention it. confused And the OP didn't say she had converted to Judaism. she should do what she wants and not ask people if she doesn't like what's being said. IMO.

Blackberrybakewell Tue 01-Oct-13 12:42:52

Louise no passive aggressiveness here.

I do genuinely hope the op has a lovely wedding, of course, why would I not? I hope that anyone who gets married has a lovely wedding, be they Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Scientologists, atheists, humanists, church of the flying spaghetti monster or whatever else.

You say that I have insulted those who choose to make their vows to their partners rather than to God. Seeing as I am one of those people that wouldn't really make sense.

Did you mean that I have insulted those who make their vows in front of God i.e. in a religious ceremony, but actually didn't really mean the bit that involved God and just really wanted to make their vows to their partner?

frogspoon Tue 01-Oct-13 11:56:52

I am Jewish, have many secular Jewish friends who still do several customs and traditions, and want to marry Jewish and have a Jewish wedding, but fundamentally say they don't believe any of it. It's not an unusual situation

It's your wedding, not really anyone else's business.

LouiseAderyn Tue 01-Oct-13 11:48:11

Blackberry I am almost speechless at that post, but not quite, so here goes.

It makes no sense to say to a non believer who is planning a church wedding, that their vows are completely meaningless, but hope you have a nice wedding anyway. You' ve really insulted all those people who viewed their ceremonies as making vows to their partner rather than to god and then tried to say something nice at the end. Its okay to hold the view that our vows mean jack shit, but at least have the courage of your convictions and not put that 'have a nice wedding' stuff at the end of a huge insult. Unless it was meant in a passive aggressive way? Hard to read tone sometimes on MN.

And if people had RTFT properly they eould know the OP is having a Jewish ceremony and doesn't have to promise anything to god anyway.

Preciousbane Tue 01-Oct-13 11:46:13

I don't understand people wanting a religious wedding if they are atheists. I refused to marry DH in church because he is an atheist so opted for a civil ceremony instead even though I'm a Christian. He was fine with getting married in church but it didn't sit comfortably.

Sixteen years on and he is still an atheist and I'm still a Christian I have thought I would like to get our marriage blessed but DH would need an epiphany entirely of his own for me to agree.

I like Blackberrybakewells post and also wanted to say I have attended one humanist wedding and it was really such a lovely ceremony. Probably the most inclusive and moving one I have ever attended.

SamG76 Tue 01-Oct-13 11:36:21

BbW/ Vivien

This is the last time I'll say it. No vows/ no promises/no mention of God by the bride or groom at a Jewish wedding. Rabbi is not required but is usually there though as a witness. Ergo - no hypocrisy.

Also, Vivien - you can convert to Judaism, whether or not as part of adoption. Once someone has converted, it is considered a very serious offence to treat them differently to those who are born Jewish, or even to mention this fact in public (not sure if MN counts - probably not if anon!).

Viviennemary Tue 01-Oct-13 11:10:26

I lived near a Jewish lady. She said you can only be Jewish if your biological mother is Jewish. Don't know how true this is but it's what I was told. I think YANBU to want a Jewish wedding but are being a massive hypocrite to stand up at a wedding ceremony making promises if you have no intention of keeping them.

Blackberrybakewell Tue 01-Oct-13 11:02:43

And I don't think being black or not 'looking' Jewish had anything to do with it, all that matters is if your heart you can stand by vows that you took in the name of/eyes of/in front of a God that you do not believe in x

Blackberrybakewell Tue 01-Oct-13 11:02:19

And I don't think bring black or not 'looking' Jewish had anything to do with it, all that matters is if your heart you can stand by vows that you took in the name of/eyes of/in front of a God that you do not believe in x

Blackberrybakewell Tue 01-Oct-13 11:00:05

I grew up semi-Christian - was baptised, sang in church choir, sang hymns at school, went to church services with school. It is part of my heritage and although I am now a humanist I still enjoy Christmas and singing hymns etc. Some people may think that's hypocritical and I can take that on the chin.

But despite my cultural attachment to the church I did not get married in a church because I believe that any vows I took in front if a God that I did not believe in would be pointless, null and void. I can't understand people who think that it is ok to get married in a church or other place of worship for a religion that they do not believe in, the vows would be completely meaningless. I just can't get my head around it at all.

But I wish you a happy wedding whatever you decide to do!

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