Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Outing myself to people I barely know.

Ahh facebook, the bane of my existence. I now have almost 400 friends on facebook, at least 100-200 of which are people who I grew up with as an orthodox jew. Many of whom are still frum, (as far as I can tell through frequent annoying facebook status updates about religious plans as well as their 'religious preferences' thing).

Anyway, when I got engaged I posted it to my facebook. And, as is traditional in the Jewish community (among others), millions of people I hadn't talked to in years came out of the woodwork to wish me a mazel tov.

But now I end up feeling guilty and weird and dishonest about my marriage. I know many of these people would not be wishing me well if they knew I was marrying someone not Jewish. So it feels like I'm tricking them into wishing me a Mazal tov somehow, by not being completely upfront about the fact that B is not Jewish.

But how do I go about telling people that he isn't Jewish? I don't think it's a huge deal, but I know other people will. So do I make a big facebook stauts post that is like "FYI MY FIANCE IS A GOY!!" I think my non-jewish friends may be a bit confused by that.

I'm definitely not ashamed of B, and I don't want to feel shamed. On the other hand, why do I have to make a big deal out of the fact that I'm marrying someone not jewish, and do I really have to go out of my way to let everyone know, or is it just none of their business? Also, am I overestimating the extent to which people care about my life?

I'm thinking in particular of one girl...raised Satmer but was "OTD" by their standards (although her OTD was MO), my BFF in high school, who I still occasionally keep in touch with (we talk once or twice a year). I know she would never talk to me again if she knew I was marrying someone not Jewish. But I barely speak to her as it is. Should I go out of my way to end my small friendship with her, by making a big deal out of marrying B, or do I just go about life as if everything is normal (which by my standards they are), and figure she will find it out through the grapevine eventually?

It's hard to figure this all out.


  1. My advice: don't do anything. If someone starts chatting with you on FB and is having an extensive conversation about your getting married, you might need to tell them. But there's no need to stir the pot with a general announcement. And that would also give ammunition to all the people who would say it proves you feel guilty about marrying a non-Jew. Not to mention everyone who will feel it their divine mission to save you from your "mistake." You'd just be creating a brouhaha at a time when you are already stressed out, as per your previous post.

  2. I'm with DYS. If someone messages you, tell them. Otherwise, let it be. It's not worth the hassle for you, nor is it any of their business.

  3. I have been lurking here for a bit but now I thought I would post my 2 cents.

    You may not be ashamed of B but it sure sounds like you are uncomfortable with who you are v. your past life. You are who you are and if some of the old life has come out of the woodwork accept their well wishes.

    Why do you have to volunteer info on B? If you happen to speak to some of them and they start to play Jewish geography with you about B then you can just slide in the "... oh, B isn't Jewish..."

    It is part of who you are, some may be surprised some may not. Some may never speak to you again some might. If that bothers you then you have some real deep thinking to do.

    FYI, I came from a frum family and I now just consider myself an observant Jew. My wife converted to Judaism while we were friends but she did it on her own. She learned a lot about practical Judaism from my folks with whom we spent many a shabbat and yom tov. But they were comfortable from the get go with her background and our living together. BTW, if you are curious about our current level of observence ... we both put on tiffillin every day and do not drive on shabbat.

  4. BOTH put on tefillin?

  5. This reminds me of being gay. :)


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