Choices

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A62 adis

Written by Liora.  Liora is a first-time Jewrotica writer.

Rated PGHere is a partial list of my husband’s qualities:

Tall.

A DDR expert.

Possessed of formidable cooking skills and the sharpest cheekbones I’ve ever seen.

Addicted to bacon.

Half-Mexican, half-Chinese, one hundred percent goy.  Raised Catholic, now floating in the warm abeyance between atheism and lazy acknowledgment of a formless higher power.

Alex is what the kids today might call a gamechanger. Meeting him destroyed every single one of my assumptions about what I wanted or how I would end up. If God is the ultimate matchmaker, as my parents contend, then this marriage is half-perfect, half cosmic joke.

Three months in, I’ve mostly shrugged off the feeling that our marriage signals the dissolution of My Immortal Soul—marrying the love of your life will do wonders for your general happiness, your belief in a loving god—but a gauzy sadness lingers around the Jewish holidays. Final proof that Amor doesn’t Vincit Omnia: not my parents’ disapproval or my stifled, occasional desire to turn Alex Jewish, just for the eight nights of Chanukah, the twenty five hours of Yom Kippur. Just long enough to have him participate, not as an outside observer, but a member of the club.

“Liora,” he calls now, sticking his head into our living room, where I am rifling through an Artscroll battered relic from a traumatic summer at Camp Shevet Achim.

“Sup,” I call back.

“When are we lighting— Oh. I thought you were waiting for me.”

“I was just getting ready,” I reply lamely. “I was gonna call you when I was done setting up the candles.”

“Looks like you’re ready now.” He takes the Artscroll from my hands and peers at the English translations of the blessings. “We’re just doing the first two tonight, right?” Classic Alex—he can defuse any situation, a necessary skill for living with me.

“Yep. Do you remember what the third one is called?” I’m using my teacher-voice—the high-pitched, condescending tone I fall into whenever I see a Teachable Jewish Moment. If I am a good enough teacher, if I gentle him into understanding, these moments will accumulate into a legitimate body of Jewish knowledge one day. One day we will be partners—roughly matched, but on similar planes. I will unclasp this vague resentment from around my neck and hang it somewhere else instead.

I hate myself for thinking like this.

“No idea,” he says cheerfully.

“Sheh-heh-chee-yanu,” I enunciate.

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  • No one ever said that interfaith relationships were easy (or ANY relationships for that matter!), but I appreciate you sharing your story and your insights with us. I found this line in particular quite touching:

    “Thank you, God, for bringing us to this moment. Me and my not-Jewish husband, choosing each other again and again and again.”

    Good luck to you and Alex both!