He had come to adore this young man and saw that we were happy together.In the months that followed, friends and family were surprised at how well my father was "handling" our engagement.)But when I told my dad, his first and foremost concern was for my wellbeing.To this day he and my mother have been extremely supportive of me, though occasionally my dad makes an "if only you would have listened to me…" statement, which pierces me to the core.I never expected it to be more than a summer fling, but things escalated quickly. "And I can't marry a non-Jew."I then explained the concept of a -something that would bring shame upon oneself, one's family, and the entire Jewish community.On our fourth date I informed him in no uncertain terms, "This can't go anywhere.""Why? Based on my upbringing, I would feel guilty for betraying generations of Jewish martyrs who had died so that I could be free to be Jewish.It was not lost on me that my husband's mistress was Jewish.(Didn't she know that having an affair with a married man is a ?!
And even if I could accept intermarriage, my father never would. He had repeatedly told me how important it was to marry "inside." He worried about the ultimate demise of the Jewish people through assimilation.I loved my father dearly, respected his convictions even when we didn't always agree, and ascribed great importance to his opinions.But I wasn't willing to break up with my boyfriend.Sure, I shared my father's concerns about the survival of the Jewish people and, though it might sound stereotypical, was aware of the cultural differences between our Jewish family and his non-Jewish one. In my family we addressed our feelings openly; his tended to ignore uncomfortable issues, hoping they would just go away.Yet I still felt that our similarities outweighed our differences.