Family Relationship

Question

Why doesnt my son want me at his ceremony? It’s not a conversion ceremony, it’s called something else. My mother is Jewish. I wish I had been raised Jewish. I was raised Episcapal (church and sunday school with my dad). Now in my 50s, I am learning to come to grips with not being raised Jewish and am learning a little on my own from on-line sites. My son was baptised Catholic but I raised him to think for himself . I am proud to tell you that for the past year he has been studying with a Reform Rabbi in the Worcester, MA area. And next October he will be married under a huppa. He does not want me at the special ceremony that will formally bring him into the synagogue. He tells me he thinks it’s a personal thing. Is this true? It would break my heart if his fiance and her parents are there to share in this special moment and not me. Why do you think he doesnt want me there? And/Or how should I convince him I should be there? Thank you, Patricia

16 years

Answers

  1. Whilst I empathize with the pain and bewilderment that you are experiencing it seems that your son has made the choice to attend his ceremony without you. As he is an adult it is impossible to “force” him into letting you attend but perhaps if you told him how much it means to you and how proud you are of his decision it might make him reassess his decision. I do not know whether you have spoken with him about your own feelings about being Jewish and how you would like to make it a more central part of your own life but if you haven’t I would very much recommend that you do so as, amongst other things, it sounds like it will hopefully let you bridge certain emotional gaps that might exist in your lives.

    Please allow me to suggest certain books that you might find helpful and stimulating in your own quest to become better acquainted with your Jewish heritage:

    Permission to Believe by L. Keleman

    Permission to Receive by L. Keleman

    Living Up to the Truth by D. Gottlieb

    Living Up to the Truth can actually be downloaded for free from the Ohr Somayach website at www.ohr.edu

    Aside from that Gateways have many, many opportunities for seminars, lectures and classes all over the country. I strongly recommend that you look at their web site at www.gatewaysonline.com for information about upcoming events in, or around, your area.

    May G-d bless you and your son that you both grow in Torah observance and Torah knowledge.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team