Thursday, November 6, 2008

Maturity and Tolerance… and the Wedding

One blogger’s sentence a few days ago caught my eye: “I was relieved that my husband is planning to vote the same as myself. I don’t think I could bear it otherwise…”
To say I was startled would be an understatement. In my mind, such a statement shows a lot of immaturity.

Our family is a bit of a rainbow: we have folks of different stripes and views. We span the spectrum from ultra-Orthodox observance to not-much-observance-at-all. My daughter who just got married is somewhere on that spectrum. When a non-religious friend of mine asked if she could bring her daughter to the wedding, to see what an “orthodox wedding” looks like, I laughed. “Well, you are more than welcome to bring her, but the wedding isn’t exactly going to be a standard orthodox wedding.”

So now I want to tell you what I enjoyed the most about the wedding. It was the way that the diverse members of the family all got along. One could see their maturity from the many accommodations that my daughter made in her plans, in order for her super-religious brothers to be able to participate… to the way that these brothers made an all-out effort to make the wedding a lively celebration, despite their differences. The differences are there. Half of the family would not eat of the food from the caterer. But the message we all shared was, “I may disagree with you, but gosh oh golly we love you.”
Teens are usually “true believers”: “there is one truth, and if you disagree with me, you are terrible.” I had, several years ago, teens who disagreed VERY vocally with each other. But they grew up. Both the very religious, and the not-religious, learned that you can have your principles, disagree with someone….. without demonizing him. You can get along, and enjoy the good things that the other person is doing.
As we were driving home after the wedding, my non-religious son said: you know what I liked best about the wedding? The older (orthodox) brothers. They were great.” And I couldn’t agree more.


Risa Tzohar said...

Mazal Tov!
Many of us have families like yours with a rainbow of religious observance. It is amazing how brothers and sisters can suspend their differences for a few hours and all enjoy a good wedding.
אשריך ישראל

Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you mean trying to balance the ultra religious family members and the traditional family members. My husband's brother is ultra-othrodox and flew in from Israel to be with his brother on his wedding day. We were married in a Reform temple and he would not step foot in the synogue but his presense was felt. We spent extra money for the caterer to have the food and kitchen blessed so my BIL could eat the food. Did I have my dream wedding gown? No...I wore my mom's gown (I am so not complaining!) because it had a high neck and long sleeves. I did not want to offend my new religious family members. Let me tell you that I have NO issues with my in-laws and I think some of it is because of the maturity and tolerance we all showed each other.