June 30, 2016

Yom Kippur can feel like a long holiday, but they reward you with a big spread of food at the end. The best thing we learned was that it is important to be respectful of each other's feelings on this day. Giving each other the support to make it through strengthened our relationship that much more.

In short, when it comes to the High Holidays, Jewish partners can help by remembering that their Christian partners may have feelings of insecurity, or of not fitting in with your family or temple. This will stem from the fact that it is simply not their holiday. I know, at times, I felt conflicted inside. What was proper for me to be doing at this moment during services? Would Jesus see me as, somehow, less of a Christian? For me, temple can be both fascinating and boring. Fascinating in the sense that I am learning about my wife's culture. Boring in that most of it is in Hebrew, and it is long. Sometimes, the non-Jewish partner might just be plain ignorant of traditions, feelings, and experiences and needs to be guided.

It takes time to build memories together. Over time, thanks to Bonnie's help, I've found myself feeling more and more comfortable with her holidays. I have learned the rituals of the different services. I have made friends at the temple. I have even learned some Hebrew. I now look forward to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. I actually get a warm, fuzzy feeling over these holidays. After nine years of marriage, it's getting to be that September can't roll around without me breaking out my football, fall clothes, and shofar.