As you all know, Ahna and I come from different religious backgrounds: Ahna is Lutheran and I am Jewish. If you attended our wedding, you know that it has been our intent from the very beginning to incorporate both of our traditions into our daily life, and not to exclude either of those. It was a very intentional thought and the main theme for our wedding ceremony, and has been an ongoing discussion and practice since.
One of the questions that we have had for a long time was what we would do for our children when it comes to the two religions. We have gone back-and-forth between choosing one of them (and even which one) and doing both of them. To make a long story short, we settled on choosing both religions. Our family’s history and traditions are too important to us to choose one over the other. Our children will grow up being a practicing Jew and a practicing Lutheran.
I know, it sounds odd, difficult, and confusing. Sometimes it does for us as well. We have discussed this at length with Pastor Dave and Rabbi Brian, as well as both of our families. The religious figures that we have chosen to surround ourselves with are understanding of what we would like to do and are very willing to work with us to provide our children a rich spiritual and faith-driven life.
Of course there are things that even we are unsure of how to handle. This will be an ongoing dialogue between Ahna and I, our family, our church, our temple, our friends, and our community. There are lots of things that we will have to decide on how to approach as they arrive in life – it is simply impossible to estimate and discuss everything right now.
One of the principle concepts in our fusion of the religions will be finding ways to incorporate Jewish (and Old Testament) teachings and traditions into the Lutheran things that we do; and visa-versa. It won’t be about seperating the two, but finding the similarities and commonalities and exposing them. We don’t want to shy away from either religion to make it more comfortable…we envision the comfort coming from the stories, teachings, and messages of both traditions. That might mean that when you are with us for Easter, you will hear somethings that you aren’t used to. Or that when we come to your house for Passover, we will bring some conversation along with us.
What we are asking from each of you is for your continued support and love as we bring our kids into all of these wonderful traditions and religious teachings. We are looking forward to sharing all of your stories with him…for that is what has made Ahna and I into who we are. The community aspect of faith is extremely important to us, and we couldn’t ask for a better one than our friends and family.