Why did i not have a Jewish wedding ?
- I didn’t have a Jewish man to marry; i broke up with one man who actually gave me a ring but placed a condition that i would complete a phD and follow an academic career like him …the others found me unsuitable and were bright enough to break up rather than attempt a bond they were not interested in pursuing so i married a goy-a non Jew, who did not place conditions but also did not have the talk about expectations and what would those be and accepted that i would marry stay home and raise children .No negotiation and this is how i came to have had the same lifestyle as a married Orthodox Jewish woman without the benefits of a community, common history values traditions and the authority of a religious leader to decide and of course family and friends near by. I married a total stranger i hardly knew and entered a life of slavery which resembles the life of an orthodox Jewish woman on the surface but not content wise .
- The religious Jewish men i knew had left religion and were seeking not to be religious , were experimenting and i was not sure enough of the religious path to follow through and practice orthodox jewish rules, there were too many rules and obligations to keep up with and i had a difficult time keeping my desk tidy not to mention separate meat and dairy , well i have been a vegetarian since the age of 18 but if my future husband would eat meat i would have to have a separate set of dishes and follow the rules of Kosher cooking and then there are shelves of books about the rules to keep in every single field of life, i tended to be spontaneous though some may call it being impulsive. While i agree that some limits and rules make life sane and easier to follow , the long list of rules the orthodox jews keep seems to me tedious and impossible. I can stick to maybe three rules at the most, but there are over 600 religious duties, ok, you can deduct the ones meant for men only , and the ones for certain people like those working in the temple etc. but still even if only half remain, 300 rules seem a whole lot more than three.
- While i like the joy of the Chasidic dancing , i find it difficult to accept the rigid role divisions for men and women; men study the torah, women raise the children, although i also raised the children while my ex husband worked , i feel this is not the ideal life style i would have wished to have had i had any say in the matter, which sadly to say, i did not, i kept silence in fear of losing the man who agreed to marry me after having experienced disappointments, i grew desperate and without any conditions, which is not a good basis for any relationship, desperation dictates settling while being anxious and once the veil of anxiety lifts, you are left with anger rage and despair. Any relationship should involve negatiations, discussions, communication.
- In conclusion ; I do not regret not having married Orthodox or non Orthodox Jewish, the Rabbinical court gives men a stronger position and there are too many tales of women stranded because their husbands refuses to comply to divorce, though my husband at first objected to the divorce, due to financial calculations , he did succumb, it did take way too long, but in theory it could have been concluded much quicker than a typical jewish divorce when the couple are in dispute, it ended up also stretching into years where i would have wished for another focus for my life other than divorce court with all its interventions and lack of privacy.
- I dont know if i believe in marriage , or relationships, i just dont trust people actually mean what they say and i am at an age where i am not so attractive so dating is not an issue anymore, i have no longer a family to offer since i have children from a previous marriage and am at an age when having more children is a non issue, i also dont feel the need to be with anyone since my experience has been that other people, even your own family members, siblings and parents do not look out for you, do not offer you advice, safety or protection so i really do not seek human relations with people i do not know
since feeling safe is my main priority after having endured a marriage made in hell, i do not expect to find safety anymore with other human beings.
I do not think my marriage failed because i did not marry a jew, or because i did not marry as an orthodox jew, i couldn’t possibly live in a rigid system dictated by religion and follow so many rules and also comply with a community that is based on traditions from thousands of years ago and a fashion from 200 years ago, i just dont agree with the wearing of a wig, with the long sleeves in the summer, with the rigid role division and do not find comfort in repeating the same words in a prayer book that offers prayers to god that i have not composed. I am all for originality and so i can not see myself following this path though i might visit a synagogue in order to feel the comfort and safety of traditions i know for sure that after the prayer is over , i will be once again alone and i also know with absolute certainly that no human being will ever cure me of the feeling of alienation and loneliness i feel while being with other people though i find shared activities and some conversations temporary make me feel in bond with others, i know that at the end i will be like my beginning, alone and so i do not bother to change that situation and live with another person again, largely due to my nasty experience with a man who used violence to indicate his position of power over me and thus made me fearful of any further attempts, and there were other disappointments in issues of dishonesty and inability to trust but then again i did date law students for a while and that probably made the trust issues even more difficult..
I am not saying this wedding and even being religious is wrong for everyone but it is certainly not right for me.
Though i sometimes find myself craving community life, having people around me dance joyfully and share happy events and share sad events, i have found myself having to accept that this will not be my fate since i do not have a family of origin that is supportive, caring or trustworthy and since my children too face their own demons having grown up in an unstable nest of vipers , i find that dealing with people i am related to is always challenging, we are still working on issues of trust, communication and honesty but i do have hope that my children will not have to go through the same trials i had to but can hopefully learn from observing the mistakes at home NOT to marry or form a bond without speaking about expectations and being able to communicate needs, wishes, and to be their own person within a supportive loving relationship which is after all what family ought to be and when not, better left alone.