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A62 adis2

He repeats it carefully, smiling at me. There is so much love on his face, such a willingness to learn. Not because this is important to him, but because it is important to me. Isn’t that what marriage is? Choosing each other: not just once, but every day? In learning these prayers, in repeating the phlegmy consonants, the arcane rituals, he is choosing me. And in choosing me, he is choosing Judaism.

We have a circular relationship, me and Judaism: we feed each other. I do not exist without it. And without me, there is one less person to light these candles, say these prayers. Without me, Alex would never have come to this moment: thanking god or even acknowledging his existence.

My husband isn’t Jewish, but he is part of Judaism now, adding new life to old customs.

“Do you remember what that means?” Teacher voice again, sticky sweet.

“Something about being lucky to be here, or something.”

“Yeah!” I wrap my arms around his waist, hug hard. “You do listen to your wife on occasion.”

“Only when she has latkes.” He kisses the top of my head. “Are we ready to get this show on the road?”

“In a second.” I stand on tiptoe, kiss his nose, and intone the prayer. “Barukh atah adonai eloheinu melekh haolam, shehecheyanu v’kimanu v’hegeianu l’zman hazeh.”

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

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