I was curious what experiences other people have had when they tell members of their family they don't believe in the religion they were raised in.


I was raised Jewish and started having doubts in middle school. I was scared by this because I was always taught to believe in Judaism and all my friends from temple never seemed to have any doubts. I remember thinking to myself that after my Bat Mitzvah I would have some kind of revelation and it would all make sense and I would stop having these doubts. And that never happened. That's when I really started questioning my faith.


My dad was raised Christian but didn't particularly care about religion. My mom was raised Jewish and raising me Jewish was important to her so my dad was fine with it.


I told my dad I was having doubts and didn't really consider myself Jewish. He said he would support whatever I chose to do and would help me learn more about other religions if that was what I wanted.


My mom had two reactions. First: you're not old enough to make a choice like that. Second: I'm Jewish and in Judaism the child takes the religion of the mother.


First one: I'm a freshman in college now and my mom still wont accept that I'm not Jewish. So when will I be old enough? 


Second one: WTF! I just told you I don't believe in Judaism so why the hell would I care what religion Judaism tells me I am!!! This logic just astounds me with its stupidity.


I'm curious what reactions other people have had from family members and how they dealt with it. Did those who initially rejected your choice ever come to accept it?


Not only that, but after this my mom tried to force me to go to temple more and even as I got older and it was harder and harder for her to force me, she became much more active at her temple. My dad said she blamed herself for me not believing in Judaism. As a child I went to a Jewish preschool, I went to Hebrew school since kindergarden, I had plenty of Jewish friends, the temple I was a member of is a very great place and I loved all the people there. I made a choice that had nothing to do with her.


So that was a lot more rant-y than I planned, but oh well.

Views: 33

Comment by Thomas Pepe on April 27, 2011 at 1:08am
I haven't come out to my parents yet, but my friends parents found out about him being Atheist before we went off to college. It's been two years of his mother hassling him to attend church and other religious events. She gave him her first Bible before he left for college two years ago. Lately she's been arguing with him when ever he is home. She actually bought a religious book about how great god is and everything. Sadly that book has no defense for common sense and every argument they get in ends with her losing.
Comment by Discern on April 27, 2011 at 8:06am

ugh, mothers always pull the emotional card. 


@Thomas Pepe: lol your friend's mother gives your friend her first bible - that's what I'm talking about, this emotional blackmail. It's always guilt-trips and "I've failed as a mother" and "don't you love us" "don't you respect us" blah blah.   Any time you actually want to present doctrinal problems and have a biblical discussion, they switch off and your arguments just get brushed aside.


Comment by Dustin on April 27, 2011 at 8:32am
Ohhh , I thought Jewish people were Jewish people because of their biological lineage. Soooo .....

If some woman native to the country of India decided to adopt Judaic laws and customs in their lives and had a child , would that child automatically be 'Jewish' even though they were from Indian decent? This is based off the Jewish scriptures then?

It seems obvious that if you don't believe in the scriptures , then you aren't Jewish. You're just the child of a Jewish Mother.

Also , what happens when the mother changes her religion? Does her child automatically become NOT Jewish even if the child still practices their religion? Ahhhhh I love asking questions!
Comment by Kenneth Montville D.D. on April 27, 2011 at 8:48am
Dustin, a huge percentage of Jews today are actually not of Semitic Hebrew descent but are descended from the Khazars, an Eastern European kingdom which converted to Judaism in the early 8th century. So yes, if a woman in India converted to Judaism then her children would technically be Jews too. If the woman changes her religion then the children who are already grown can remain Jewish or change with her, though I am not aware of any precedents for that matter so I may be wrong on that account.
Comment by Dustin on April 27, 2011 at 8:58am
Thanks for the info!!


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