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In Rendezvous with G-d, twentysomething blogger and journalist Monica Rozenfeld explores what it means as a young Jewish woman in New York City to have a relationship with G-d.

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March 9th, 2010

Catholic-Jewish Love

 
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I’ve seen this time and time again. A Catholic boy, a Jewish girl, and instant attraction. I don’t know what it is, really. Maybe it’s the forbidden fruit? Opposites attract? Or maybe it’s something we just can’t put our finger on. And I’m no stranger to this either. For a long time, I only dated Catholic guys. And when I visited Italy – forget it! I’d be just fine living in a villa with a Catholic husband and my Jewish beliefs.

Just the other day I was watching the reality TV show Millionaire Matchmaker where the client came in and said he felt very strongly about his beliefs, and wanted only someone who had just as deep a connection to Jesus Christ as he did. Well, lo and behold, a Jewish girl walks in and that is thee girl he wants. He wouldn’t even budge.

These types of chemical attractions, though I don’t have data, are undeniable and far and wide. What is it that attracts the two faiths so often? And so what if it does happen?

More recently, a more tragic story on the news shows a Catholic-Jewish divorce where the child has become the pawn of religious warfare.  Using the child to spite one another through church and synagogue “kidnapping” being brought back and forth between religions has caused a lot of trouble for this couple on raising their child.

Often times, when it comes to interfaith marriage, the biggest concern is about the child – how will the child be raised? I’ve heard stories of non-Jewish mothers who refuse a briss, or Jewish mothers who refuse a baptism.  Are these rituals the basis for whether to get married or not? How much does the future child play into deciding whether to say I do, or I don’t? Is this ridiculous Catholic-Jewish attraction a test to see how strong we stay in our faith? If so, that sounds mean.

What do you think? Are you in an interfaith relationship? Do you have these kinds of concerns? If so, how do you decide to pursue or stand back?

 
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The Author : Monica Rozenfeld

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  • Matt

    I have a lot of respect for serious Jews. We worship the same God, although according to different traditions. As the writers of a popular series of alternate history novels once put it, the Jews are essentially our elder siblings in worship of the One True God. Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and all the apostles were Jewish, after all.

    I’ve known Jewish girls that I could have imagined myself marrying, but frankly they were all too committed to their Jewishness to consider marrying _me_. I think, for me, this was actually (and ironically) a requirement. I could marry someone from a different faith tradition (and in fact I did), but not someone who didn’t take God seriously.

    I’d want my children baptised, but wouldn’t object to them being circumcised (I was, and my family isn’t even Jewish…and I’d frankly trust a rabbi to do a better job of it than the doctor did with mine). I’d want to marry someone committed to working out any conflicts between us amicably and staying together for life (something both Christians and Jews are called to do, but too few of either group follow through).

    There is nothing in traditional Jewish practice to which I object, and many Jewish customs that I think we Christians would do well to learn from and emulate. The converse, however, is not nearly as generally true.

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