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Old 08-30-2015, 10:47 AM
 
13,093 posts, read 13,698,619 times
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A close relative young man age 30 is marrying a Catholic woman age 32 and they really want me to attend the wedding. They are offering to pay all my expenses to fly there and lodging, the wedding is on the other side of the world where the bride's family lives. The young man grew up in a secular home and did not find out he was Jewish until he was in his mid-20s so he does not know much about Judaism. I am baal tshuva the past 8+ years and I do not want to attend the wedding. The young man is my son. He wants me his mother at his wedding.

It is his happy day to be married, but for me it would be very uncomfortable being in a room with 50 priests (the bride has 4 uncles who are priests so it is a big deal). The family is courteous but cold towards me. They are really upset she is marrying a non-Catholic, and that my son comes from divorced parents. As a mom of course i want my son to be happy. But i don't want to put myself in a situation where I am miserable being there. From their point of view, it is "how can your mom not come to your wedding?" They are respectful of me being an observant Jew and not attending the actual wedding in the Catholic church, but they said i could still come to all the other events. He really wants me there. I really do not want to go.

How have people handled this?

Last edited by Tzaphkiel; 08-30-2015 at 11:06 AM..
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Old 08-30-2015, 11:31 AM
 
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Is there any chance you can still talk him out of it? Is he aware his children will not be Jewish and his grandchildren are likely to be anti-Semites? Tzaph, I am so sorry for you. I know this must be tough.
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Old 08-30-2015, 11:50 AM
 
13,093 posts, read 13,698,619 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theflipflop View Post
Is there any chance you can still talk him out of it? Is he aware his children will not be Jewish and his grandchildren are likely to be anti-Semites? Tzaph, I am so sorry for you. I know this must be tough.
i have talked to him, and in particular we have talked about anti-Semitism. He also agreed to meet with a Rabbi which we did earlier this year when I visited him and met the fiancee's parents. There are certain things he is willing to do simply because I ask, such as meet with a Rabbi, and lay tefillin at least once. His choice of wife is his decision. I have also flat out asked him not to convert, and he states he will not convert.

When I found out I was Jewish (in my 40s) I was simply over the moon with joy and happiness. My sons do not have that emotional attachment, yet anyway. It feels like a big old mess. It's hard not to get mad at my own mom all over again. It's hard to see Hashgacha Pratis in this even though i know it's there.

[glossary: Hashgachah Pratis - Divine Providence]
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Old 08-30-2015, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Long Island
1,721 posts, read 1,389,902 times
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I'm sorry you find yourself in this position, Tzaphkiel; it's not an easy decision to make.

Is there any way you can visit him but restrict most of your interaction to when he and possibly his bride are away form the rest? You could be with them on their happy day but limit your exposure to the situations that make you uncomfortable.
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Old 08-30-2015, 12:16 PM
 
646 posts, read 346,335 times
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This must be tough for you, Tzaphkiel. I am sorry.

I agree with JB; would that be possible? I think you would set a good example, if you will, by being there for at least some events. If you do not come at all because of your Jewish beliefs he might get angry and reject Judaism completely over it all.

At some point in his life he might be drawn to Judaism in whatever context. (I do not wish divorce for him or anthing; I am not judging him or anybody else either way. It is HIS life.) Anyhow, that can only happen if he keeps at least a neutral attitude towards it for the time being.

Your son loves you very much. He is respectful of your wishes and feelings; he met with a rabbi, put on tefillin etc.. You have a great son! You will make the right decision for yourself and him.

If I may make a personal comment - I think you should be there. I understand that it is hard for you but consider very carefully if you won't regret it at some point that you were not there at all. He might marry somebody you do not approve of but it is one of the most important days of his life. Many people wish very much their parents could see them on that day but it is impossible. You have that chance to see him, even if some of it makes you uncomfortable and is somewhat painful to you.
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Old 08-30-2015, 12:32 PM
 
Location: US
27,992 posts, read 15,074,605 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theflipflop View Post
Is there any chance you can still talk him out of it? Is he aware his children will not be Jewish and his grandchildren are likely to be anti-Semites? Tzaph, I am so sorry for you. I know this must be tough.
Now, why would his grandchildren be Anti-Semites?...
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Old 08-30-2015, 12:33 PM
 
Location: US
27,992 posts, read 15,074,605 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tzaphkiel View Post
A close relative young man age 30 is marrying a Catholic woman age 32 and they really want me to attend the wedding. They are offering to pay all my expenses to fly there and lodging, the wedding is on the other side of the world where the bride's family lives. The young man grew up in a secular home and did not find out he was Jewish until he was in his mid-20s so he does not know much about Judaism. I am baal tshuva the past 8+ years and I do not want to attend the wedding. The young man is my son. He wants me his mother at his wedding.

It is his happy day to be married, but for me it would be very uncomfortable being in a room with 50 priests (the bride has 4 uncles who are priests so it is a big deal). The family is courteous but cold towards me. They are really upset she is marrying a non-Catholic, and that my son comes from divorced parents. As a mom of course i want my son to be happy. But i don't want to put myself in a situation where I am miserable being there. From their point of view, it is "how can your mom not come to your wedding?" They are respectful of me being an observant Jew and not attending the actual wedding in the Catholic church, but they said i could still come to all the other events. He really wants me there. I really do not want to go.

How have people handled this?

I say, sacrifice...But that is what I would...And just go...
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Old 08-30-2015, 12:35 PM
 
13,093 posts, read 13,698,619 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliksder View Post
I agree with JB; would that be possible? I think you would set a good example, if you will, by being there for at least some events. If you do not come at all because of your Jewish beliefs he might get angry and reject Judaism completely over it all.

If I may make a personal comment - I think you should be there. I understand that it is hard for you but consider very carefully if you won't regret it at some point that you were not there at all.
i did not think it would be a problem at all, i was all ready in my mind to go, however it's just that every time I think of going I get sick to my stomach. and i know me well enough that when i over-ride my intuition it does not turn out well. For awhile it looked like they were going to have a reception event here in USA too for those who can't fly to the other side of the world, but he has stated he wants me over there during the actual festivities.

I have suggested they elope, but then I am someone who likes things small and simple, and skipped my own university graduation altogether.

i don't altogether understand the visceral aversion i have to making this trip. i would not have a problem going to something in the states, maybe it's that it is international travel to a destination that is not of my own choosing, maybe it's people telling me to do something without my having any say in it.

Last edited by Tzaphkiel; 08-30-2015 at 01:00 PM..
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Old 08-30-2015, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
15,511 posts, read 13,297,298 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tzaphkiel View Post
i did not think it would be a problem at all, i was all ready in my mind to go, however it's just that every time I think of going I get sick to my stomach. and i know me well enough that when i over-ride my intuition it does not turn out well. For awhile it looked like they were going to have a reception event here in USA too for those who can't fly to the other side of the world, but he has stated he wants me over there during the actual festivities.

I have suggested they elope, but then I am someone who likes things small and simple, and skipped my own university graduation altogether.

i don't altogether understand the visceral aversion i have to making this trip. i would not have a problem going to something in the states, maybe it's that it is international travel to a destination that is not of my own choosing, maybe it's people telling me to do something without my having any say in it.
While I am a buttinsky here and definitely not qualified to give you a Judaic answer, I see something very interesting in your post.

Quote:
maybe it's people telling me to do something without my having any say in it
Speaking only of my own experiences, the fastest way to turn me against something, is to decide my choice for me..

It may very well be that is what is causing your anxiety.


Now the next thing to do is to check and see if attending the wedding would violate your beliefs. You are getting some good answers here, perhaps you could also ask a Rabbi.

If attending does not violate your religion, you might be able to over ride your feelings.

No matter which I hope the best outcome for you during this trying time.
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Old 08-30-2015, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Texas
43,564 posts, read 52,720,164 times
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Go for him.
It's his day.
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