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Jew gone wrong

(28 Posts)
LostInTheDessert Fri 03-Dec-10 20:27:57

What have I done? I'm unmarried, I have a child with a man who's not a Jew. My son is uncircumcised. I have tattoos.

I don't even know what to do to make it right anymore. I want to get involved with the community again but it's very small (maybe 100 in 100 mile radius) and they're going to think I'm an arsehole for all of the above.

TmiEdward Fri 03-Dec-10 20:30:01

I know little of religions, so please don't think my next sentence is flippant.
Does the Jewish religion teach nothing of forgiveness?

rubyslippers Fri 03-Dec-10 20:30:02

They won't

A good Rabbi will be kind, patient and happy to talk to you

Why don't you have a look at SEED or AISH as a way of re-connecting as well

rubyslippers Fri 03-Dec-10 20:30:58

Your son is Jewish if you are

TotalChaos Fri 03-Dec-10 20:32:32

it may not be your cup of tea but I've always understood that the Lubavitch/Chabad community (ultra orthodox) were very welcoming to "lapsed" Jews returning to the faith as it were. As Ruby says, try talking to a rabbi.

activate Fri 03-Dec-10 20:33:12

Judaism is matrilineal

Don't think they have any issue with tattoos do they?

The circumcision can be done when and if he chooses to be Jewish

Being involved with a community is easy - find a way to give something and be yourself and you'll be accepted - a children's group, an old age home, a synagogue (sp?) committee

rubyslippers Fri 03-Dec-10 20:33:27

YY to Chabad Lubavitch

MaeMobley Fri 03-Dec-10 20:33:53

Our rabbis would certainly welcome you as would our baby/ toddler group. Ours is a reform synagogue with a mix of people and quite a lot of converts, other halves that are not Jewish.

Where are you?

On the "positive" side, your son is more jewish than mine in the eyes of the Chief Rabbi!

rubyslippers Fri 03-Dec-10 20:35:09

According to the Old Testament you aren't meant to make permanent markings on your body

MaeMobley Fri 03-Dec-10 20:35:19

Isn't the tattoo issue to do with the Holocaust rather than the Bible?

Lulumaam Fri 03-Dec-10 20:35:36

I have recently joined the Reform community and shul where i live. very welcoming, i can wear jeans and drive to shul ! I go every week now with teh DCs, it's great. i go to community events, there is a chanukah lunch tomorrow.. mad new friends, v non judgemental.

i was from an orthodox background but am really enjoying the reform community

your child is jewish, as you are jewish and it follows the maternal blood line

i think that if you 'do unto others as you would have done to yourslef' , you cannot go far wrong

where, approximately, in the country, are you?

Lulumaam Fri 03-Dec-10 20:37:24

Also, I really don't thikn you should feel so badly and sad. you don't have to be religiously observant to be a good spiritual moral person

i am sure you will find a way to get back to your roots in a way that is comfortable for you

rubyslippers Fri 03-Dec-10 20:38:57

Very true Lulu

LostInTheDessert Fri 03-Dec-10 20:42:30

I'm overseas in a small town where unfortunately most of the community was "shipped off" during the Holocaust. To try and rebuild the community they brought in an American Rabbi in 2001 and he's really nice and actually asked me to drive his wife home once afterwards!

But, I've not been in years and I feel nervous/embarrassed about getting back in touch. I know they'd welcome my son with open arms though.

I want my son to attend a faith school if that's at all possible in the future. One of the biggest problems though will probably be my boyfriend who is really quite "anti-relgion".

Thank you for all being so kind - I'm having a right old wobble right now and feel I need to get back to my roots.

Lulumaam Fri 03-Dec-10 20:44:32

DH is an atheist and I have basically said that as I have a faith, then I will take responsibility for bringing the children up in taht faith, and give them the knowledge I have, he can give them his opinions and knowledge and when tehy are old enough , they can decide whether to follow Judaism, atheism or any other -ism ! as long as they are happy and fulfilled and making ifnormed choices

you need to satisfy your spiritual search, your partner does not need to .

LostInTheDessert Fri 03-Dec-10 20:57:05

I really like that Lulumaam and I'm going to have to broach this subject with him - your philosphy is great.

Acanthus Fri 03-Dec-10 21:00:28

Lulu your approach sounds unusual - is it? My (only two!) Jewish friends will both ensure that their children follow their faith and "marry in" come hell or high water, as it were. Have I been unthinking in assuming that that is how the Jewish community is in general?

KerryMumbles Fri 03-Dec-10 21:09:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lulumaam Sat 04-Dec-10 08:08:05

I thikn the marry in come hell or high water is more unralistic these days. If you live in Manchester/London/Leeds etc where there is a big community then there is more chance, but I think you have to accept that your child has to marry who they fall in love with , regardless of religion
i've married someone Jewish, but he is an atheist who does not believe or practice, so is it much different from marrying out? less so for women as Judaism follows the maternal bloodline. I know some people I used ot be friendly with who took the attitude of 'ill cut my child off if they marry out' well, that does not stand up to scruitny if you say ' ill cut them off if they are gay or marry someone of a different ethnic origion..'
Having had my own children now, I would move heaven and earth to makesure they were happy, trying to force them into certain way is not going to do that

MaeMobley Sat 04-Dec-10 09:35:43

Lulu, you talk sense.

Acanthus Sat 04-Dec-10 09:54:10

Ah - I am in one of the areas you mention!

getabloodygrip Sat 04-Dec-10 09:59:28

AND you were "working" on the Sabbath..

BTW that is not a flippant comment.

TotalChaos Sat 04-Dec-10 10:24:39

as were all the other Jewish posters who replied confused. and?

Lulumaam Sat 04-Dec-10 15:58:47

and? I am now a member of the Reform arm of Judaism , which is far less restrictive, therefore using a computer, or driving , using hte lights etc are not forbidden or frowned upon

what's your point?

BeenBeta Sat 04-Dec-10 16:49:56

Until recently I lived among a religious Jewish community and have a number of Jewish friends. Coincidentally, while I lived there, I discovered a few years ago that my mother is Jewish although my father is CofE and I was brought up a Christian. I think that means I am technically Jewish but definiteley do not want to become Jewish?

My view from first hand within my family (long complex history) and among my fairly strictly Jewish (not Orthodox) friends is that they are very welcoming of people who wish to convert to the faith or are to some extent lapsed. However, I strongly agree with Lulumaam that some of them would be extremly upset and angry if their children married out.

That said, I was talking to a couple of older Jewish people who live in New York who increasingly say that 'marrying out' has become inevitable for Jewish young women there who seem to struggle to find men to marry at all in New York. It is more widely accepted if the children are brought up as Jewish.

We know a couple where the man is Jewish and the woman converted from Catholic and the children are brought up Jewish. It seems to work OK.

LostInTheDessert - it may be a solution for you to find a Rabbi at a synaogogue you like the feel of. The one near us encompassed both Orthodox and Progressive forms. They had a Playshul and it might be the sort of place your children could get a gentle introduction to see how it goes.

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