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Posted March 9, 2007

Book: Celebrating Our Differences: Living Two Faiths in One Marriage
Authors: Mary Helene and Stanley Rosenbaum
Ragged Edge Press and Black Bear Productions. Boston, MA. 2007. Pp. 223

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

If you’re determined to intermarry . . .

Who will conduct the service?
Where will it be?
How will you pick the food and music?

Once you’ve done it . . .

Whose food will you eat?
Whose jokes will you laugh at?
Whose neighborhood will you live in?

As you increase and multiply. . .

What do you think is ok to do in bed?
Will you baptize or circumcise your children?
What kind of school will they go to?
What if the pick “the other” religion – or none?

At the end of the line. . .

How will you mourn, and with whom?
What will your spiritual resources be?

And above all. . .

Where is God in your lives?

An Excerpt from the Book:

Hebrew Scripture holds that the production of children is the primary function of marriage. The first commandment is Genesis “Be fruitful and multiply.”

Problems arise when different religious traditions arrive at different definitions of what this multiplication is and how best to achieve it. Even within rabbinic Judaism there are different schools of thought on this — one says that one boy and one girl are sufficient children to fulfill the commandment, another that a girl and two boys are necessary to ensure the continuance of the line. Orthodox Jews and Christian conservatives alike still read the Bible’s equation as open-ended and have as many children as God gives. More liberal adherents of both Judaism and Christianity find this stance to be a dereliction from the command to exercise stewardship over the earth. If your intended is a traditionalist and you aren’t, this is one of the problems you’ll want to begin discussing early in the relationship.

Table of Contents:

The Basics

1. Religion: another world

2. Culture: a different world

Getting Married and Staying Married

3. The wedding: your dream world

4. The marriage: your real world

Getting Together and Getting Along

5. Sex: how, why and to what end

6. Identity and crisis

Family Ties

7. Starting a family

8. Building a family

The That Unbind

9. Divorce: severing the cord

10. Death: the third strand of the cord

Tying It All Together

11. Spiritual life and intellectual life

12. The seasons

13. The holidays

Practical Pointers

14. Food for the body

15. Food for the mind