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Jewish Moms

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

Any other yidden in the house? Mazel tov! Hoping we can discuss holidays, customs, superstitions and other Jewish related pregnancy and birthing info. :)

post #2 of 39
Thread Starter 

Of course you are welcome here even if you aren't Jewish but would like to learn more or ask any questions!

post #3 of 39
Yes, I am. This is a great thread.
post #4 of 39
Thread Starter 

oooh, great!

 

I started another thread like this a couple of years ago when I was pg with my littliest. It was very fun to talk about the holidays together. The fast days, etc...

 

I realize there is a pretty wide spectrum, so I'm going to state right now that I'm an orthodox Jew living in Israel...we might be considered "modern orthodox." For example, I cover my hair with scarves and not wigs...for those for which that means something. :)

 

B'sha'ah tova to all the expecting mommies!

post #5 of 39
We are in between reform and conservative. attend a reform congregation. would love to hear more about Israel. One day maybe visit.
post #6 of 39
Thread Starter 

You should absolutely visit! AND you should move here.

 

Israel is a beautiful place. It is said that every part of the world is represented here, as far as climate and topography. We've got the snow capped mountains of the Golan, the lush, green Galilee (Galil), The Medeterianian coastal cities with their beaches and water ports, The Desert and the deep desert. It's truly amazing. The only thing I wish we had a bit more of was WATER. Well, and peace of course.

 

The people are very driven and motivated, you have to be as you are building a country and rebuilding a Peoplehood and Nationhood from the ground up, and though we don't all get along (not even close), I know that if I needed help I could knock on just about any door of a Jewish home and it's right there waiting for me.

 

What else would you like to know? :)

post #7 of 39

Hello, I just thought I'd pop in. I'm not Jewish however my husband and all of his family is.

I realize that this doesn't make my children Jewish, however we don't want to keep from them the culture, the traditions that DH grew up with just because of that.

My DD is 10 month. My MIL is talking about doing a baby naming on her 1st birthday which I think is incredibly special... she's just having problems finding a rabbi who will do it because I'm not Jewish.

Anyway, pregnant with DC2 and intuit him to be a boy, which means circumcision... may I ask if you 2 have experienced any backlash from the no circumcision community?

post #8 of 39
Thread Starter 



Tree Rose, that is so wonderful that you want your children to maintain a connection to their father's Judaism. You are correct, though, in that your children are not "Jewish."

 

Doing a baby naming is very sweet! Did you want to give her a Hebrew name at the naming? There is no need for a Rabbi to do the naming because, as you mentioned, the children are not Jewish. Let me try to explain it this way, let's say I wanted to give my children a Native American name, because of my connection to Native American People, though they are not Native American. I could absolutely do that in a loving, respectful way, but would not have to have a Native American Tribal Cheif come in to perform the ceremony. :) I think that trying to find a Rabbi is a headache that really isn't necessary, a ceremony that you plan with your family can be much more intimate and special without creating unnessary formalities.

 

This of course brings me to the issue of a brit milah (religious circumcision). I want to ask this as delicately as possible...but, why would you do it? The circumcision is a very holy and powerful mitzvah (commandment) for the Jewish People. Your son (in the event that the baby is a boy, of course. :) ) is NOT a Jew. Therefore there is absolutely no reason that he should have a religious circumcision. As a matter of fact, it may actually be downright problematic for a non-Jew to have such a circumcision. If you choose to have a non-religious circumcision that, of course, is your choice, but it cannot be done for religious reasons according to Judaism. :/

 

Have you contacted your local Chabad? They are Torah Observent Jews that specifically open up their homes and synagogues, etc... to the community at large for all sorts of questions relating to situations that may or may not fit the "norm." I'm certain that they would be a welcoming and caring resource for you. I don't know where you are located (I assume in the USA), but www.chabad.org typically will turn up one in your area. PM me if you need further help.

 

But here is the more important question that comes to mind, and I hope you don't mind me asking it and G-d Forbid that it doesn't offend, but it seems that this is very important to you that your children be connected to Judaism...is it an option for you to convert?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TreeRose View Post

Hello, I just thought I'd pop in. I'm not Jewish however my husband and all of his family is.

I realize that this doesn't make my children Jewish, however we don't want to keep from them the culture, the traditions that DH grew up with just because of that.

My DD is 10 month. My MIL is talking about doing a baby naming on her 1st birthday which I think is incredibly special... she's just having problems finding a rabbi who will do it because I'm not Jewish.

Anyway, pregnant with DC2 and intuit him to be a boy, which means circumcision... may I ask if you 2 have experienced any backlash from the no circumcision community?



 

post #9 of 39

TreeRose, you may be able to find a sympathetic rabbi at a Reform synagogue in your area. Do you and your husband have a relationship with a local temple? That can help, too.

I have ignored the anti-circumcision folks. They have their own point of view, but not only is circumcision a tradition, it is healthier for the child. Do what you think is best, and good luck!

post #10 of 39

Not Jewish but you should check out:

http://jewsagainstcircumcision.com/

post #11 of 39
Thread Starter 

Of course the above link is completely unacceptable to religious Jews. Brit Milah is a Mitzvah and there is no question that it must be performed...but only when the child is Jewish. In the case of a non-Jewish child, I would advise the parent to make the best decision for them, being certain to look at all of the very valuable and respectable anti-circumcision information out there, of which the above link is absolutely not one.

 

If I did not have a religious commandment to do this, I would NEVER do this. My reasons would align with many that the lactivists offer elsewhere on the mothering boards and in other resources. It is absolutely legitimate to question non-religious circumcision and one does not have to attack or attach any religious information to it to do so. The information is out there and it is good without referencing a group of people who do not fully understand the religious significance to try and make an religious argument against it.

 

If one wishes to steer someone to some good information about reasons to avoid NON-RELIGIOUS circumcision, there are many wonderful options.

post #12 of 39

Not circumcising is unacceptable to orthodox Jews but there is a movement among Reform Jews (many of whom are highly religious) to perform symbolic rather than physical circumcision.  There's a thoughtful discussion that might be a good starting point in _The New Jewish Baby Book_ by Anita Diamant.  (I don't know yet what we'll do if we have a boy and I have valued the pages devoted to thinking that through in Diamant's book). 

 

There is also a section in the book about namings and some lovely text if you decide to create your own naming ceremony.

 

Also,  I agree with Lrothnwu that there are many reform rabbis that welcome families where only one parent is Jewish.  As a child of one born Jewish parent and one convert (who converted after my Bat Mitzvah) I have always felt nurtured and welcomed within the Reform Jewish community.  You could check out the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) to find temples near you and consider talking with the rabbis at those temples if this is a direction you are interested in pursuing.

post #13 of 39

Good points, parsley. I am Jewish and my husband is not and we have also been welcomed at Conservative synagogues, JCCs and Hebrew day schools as well. There also seems to be a bit less concern about which parent is Jewish than there once was.

post #14 of 39

I appreciate everyone's responses. Thank you. We will move forward carefully and delicately as I see now that it is a heated issue for the more orthodox Jews (my not being Jewish). However, I think that not exposing our children to Judaism because I'm not Jewish would be shameful as they have a right to know how their father and his entire family lineage was raised.

 

Thanks again, all.

post #15 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrothnwu View Post

TreeRose, you may be able to find a sympathetic rabbi at a Reform synagogue in your area. Do you and your husband have a relationship with a local temple? That can help, too.

I have ignored the anti-circumcision folks. They have their own point of view, but not only is circumcision a tradition, it is healthier for the child. Do what you think is best, and good luck!


Upon what evidence are you concluding that it is "healthier for the child?"  I am curious and mean my question kindly. 

 

post #16 of 39
Thread Starter 



You should be welcomed at any synagogue and so would Tree Rose! The question is, would Tree Rose be welcomed as a Jew or as a treasured and holy non-Jew. Halacha necessitates the latter. As for you, Irothnwu, you ARE Jewish and so are your children, 100%. Your husband should be welcomed and treasured as the father of Jewish children and a treasured non-Jewish person.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lrothnwu View Post

Good points, parsley. I am Jewish and my husband is not and we have also been welcomed at Conservative synagogues, JCCs and Hebrew day schools as well. There also seems to be a bit less concern about which parent is Jewish than there once was.



 

post #17 of 39
Thread Starter 

ps, and Jewish law has never changed on this point...what has changed is some groups of Jews (and non-jews) who have decided that they will no longer adhere to Jewish Law (Halacha). They have many very good and viable reasons for doing so. The issue of accepting a Jewish father and a non-jewish mother as having Jewish children was made because of the reality of Assimilation among American Jews. The belief claimed by these movements was that if they don't "bend" or "throw out" Jewish Law, there will no longer be any Jewish People, so it is "required" to accept non-Jews as Jews in order to continue the race, ethnicity, religion, culture, etc... of the Jewish People. When you say that there is less concern about which parent is Jewish, this is absolutely not the case. There never was a concern because Jewish Law is very clear and well established for thousands of years about what constitutes a Jewish Person. The question is among the movements which have gained enormous followings about which parts of Jewish Law to "pick and choose" to keep people loosly adhered to Judaism.

 

Another great example of this is the "Messianic Jewish" movement (one of which is well known by the name "Jews for Jesus"). Even though the word Jewish is used, it doesn't mean that this is Judaism. Contrary to what Messianic "Judaism" claims, a Jew can not both be a Jew and practice Christanity (or Christian beliefs). Again, there is very clear Jewish law about this. Future generations are actually no longer considered Jewish after practicing these other religions.

post #18 of 39

Hildare, pretty much any reputable health site that is not specifically anti-circumcision will inform you of the health benefits of circumcision, such as the CDC - http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/factsheets/circumcision.htm. This link talks about reduced HIV transmission, chlamidya, urinary tract infections and penile cancers. I have no idea why the natural birthing community has anything to do with anti-circumcision hysteria, which just makes people think we're crazy. Women have been birthing their babies naturally for millions of years -- they have also been getting them circumcised (at least Jewish moms like me!) The research is pretty straightforward.

As for jul511riv, I would hope TreeRose's family and mine would be treated the same way, and not so judgmentally. I also hope she has not felt driven off this thread by an unnecessary debate about the status of her family, which is completely an issue to be discussed between her family and any rabbi that wishes to welcome them.

post #19 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrothnwu View Post

Hildare, pretty much any reputable health site that is not specifically anti-circumcision will inform you of the health benefits of circumcision, such as the CDC - http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/factsheets/circumcision.htm. This link talks about reduced HIV transmission, chlamidya, urinary tract infections and penile cancers. I have no idea why the natural birthing community has anything to do with anti-circumcision hysteria, which just makes people think we're crazy. Women have been birthing their babies naturally for millions of years -- they have also been getting them circumcised (at least Jewish moms like me!)


Not to completely de-rail this thread but you won't find any medical organization out there that recommends circ... except for the CDC. The three African studies they base their stance on are flawed. The AMA, the AAP and many others say no to this cosmetic surgery.

My husband was raised Reform Jewish and we are raising our kids agnostic. My husband was happy to leave his son intact, even if my in-laws weren't. And as far as the natural childbirth angle.. why avoid drugs and eat healthy for nine months, have a natural drug free birth and plan to breastfeed.. if the first thing you do to the innocent is spill his blood? Makes no sense whatsoever. We are meant as mothers, to protect our children from harm and circumcision causes harm.
post #20 of 39

"If the first thing you do to the innocent is spill his blood?" Noo, you're not derailing the thread at all. I guess you must be opposed to all blood testing on your children, then, because they take far more blood from a child than a circumcision, which is done after eight days in Jewish tradition, by the way. Have you ever seen a circumcision done? It's not "cosmetic" and it's not bloody.

And your judgmental attitude is not appreciated. This is an individual decision for every family, and I'd expect more respect on this site and this thread, in particular.

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