A Jewish New Year’s Fairy Tale

Her Prince Wore A Yarmulke

By Mo Lux of Mocadeaux

Tashlich: The casting of sins into the water on Rosh Hashanah Tashlich: The casting of sins into the water on Rosh Hashanah

 

Once upon a time in a village outside of Chicago, there lived a princess named Annie. Princess Annie grew up in a warm and loving home, went to Mass every Sunday, made her First Communion in 2nd grade and was confirmed in 8th grade. She attended public school at which she met and made friends with a very diverse group of classmates. Princess Annie loved this diversity and loved learning about different cultures and religions.

When the princess was in high school her family moved to Richmond. Virginia. Her school was much less diverse than she was accustomed to. Princess Annie noted that, “there are more cheerleaders than non-Christians.” Still, Annie managed to gather an interesting and differently diverse group of pals.

When it was time to go to college, the princess chose a school in the heart of a major city. She was ready to move on from suburbia and loved the urban life. At the university she dated a few frogs…ok, one in particular. As that relationship was ending, Annie joined an organization in student government through which she met a whole new group of interesting, fabulous people.

Princess Annie loved spending time with all the folks in her new posse but, as time went on, she developed a special friendship with one fellow in particular. They maintained this friendship, not taking it “to the next level” for some time. After all, he was a very observant Jewish boy and she was raised as a Catholic. There would be no future in a romantic relationship between them. Or would there?

Remember that Princess Annie was always interested in learning about and exploring how others lived their lives. Through this exploration, Annie came to develop an affinity for the Jewish faith. She loved the history and the culture and the traditions. It all struck a chord in her heart.

Over the next few years, the princess traveled through a lengthy, thoughtful path to conversion. As you might have guessed, this coincided nicely with the realization between Annie and Jerry that they belonged together – they needed to spend their lives together. Did she convert “for him”? No, the truth of the matter was that she converted for her own happiness.

The next thing you know, Queen Mo was planning a Jewish wedding, complete with a fully kosher dinner reception (with lots and lots and lots of help from the bride and groom and the groom’s mother). The wedding ceremony was a beautiful celebration of the love of these two wonderful people. Princess Annie’s godparents (you know, the folks who stood up at her baptism) read a special blessing at the ceremony. The families and friends from both sides joined in raucous dancing at the reception. Perhaps it was the first time many on the bride’s side had ever danced the Hava Nagila but you would never know it based on their enthusiasm (and surprising skill).

People have asked King Peter and I how we feel about our daughter parting from the religion in which she was raised and which we still practice. Our answer is this: Our princess is a smart, kind, and independent adult. This is her life and she gets to decide how to live it. We are very impressed with the commitment she has made. It is clear that she feels a real connection to the traditions she now follows. Learning more about the Jewish faith has been a fascinating experience for our extended family. On top of all that, we have gained a new member of the family, our son-in-law Jerry whom we adore. If ever there was a guy who truly walks the walk of his faith, this is that guy. He is patient and kind with us as we navigate ways to have our traditions co-exist.

Over the years our extended family has grown into a widely diverse, wacky and gloriously fun bunch. The newest addition, Prince Jerry, makes our family even better. We are lucky and blessed to have him in our lives.

Painting credit: Zalman Kleinman Art Gallery

  • AGM

    Beautifully said Queen Mo! We can only hope our children can find that same loving, caring and special person. And Happy Anniversary!

    • Mo at Mocadeaux

      It is hard to believe that their wedding was one year ago today! It seems like the fabulous Jerry has been part of the family for years. We are very lucky to have him and our daughter-in-law Lily as part of our wacky gang.

  • Bev F.

    Beautiful story, Mo! Princess Annie is very lucky to have such supportive parents.

    • Mo at Mocadeaux

      Thanks, Bev. We are very lucky for the added dimension that Annie’s journey and her marriage to Jerry have brought to our family.

  • Catherine Gacad

    i was open to all kinds of religions when i was dating. i dated a lot of jewish guys, probably more jewish guys than catholic. i guess they just liked me! faith is very important to me, but even more important to my devout catholic parents. i remember asking my mom if she expected me to marry someone who was catholic and her response was, “you can marry anyone you want. i only ask one thing: that he believe in God.” i thought that was very open-minded and generous of her.

    • Mo at Mocadeaux

      One of the greatest gifts a parent can receive is knowing that their son or daughter has chosen as their partner a person of character who loves and respects them. I’m sure your mom trusted you to choose that person, regardless of which religion they belonged to.

  • http://goodgirlgoneredneck.blogspot.com Andrea B.

    This is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Mo at Mocadeaux

      Their road was not always easy but it certainly had a happy ending for all of us!

  • http://kissmylist.com/ Dana

    Beautiful, Mo. I am the child of a Catholic father and Jewish mother, and my husband is Catholic. We are raising our kids Jewish and I am so thankful that my in-laws are so supportive despite being practicing Catholics. Like you, they are happy that their child is happy, and that their grandchildren are being raised in faith – even one different than their own. May Princess Annie and Prince Jerry have a long, healthy, happy life together.

    • http://midlifebloggers.com janegassner

      I’ll chime in here, Dana. I’m Jewish, but some of my closest friends have been Catholic. Especially as a child that meant spending a lot of time in Mass (mandatory for Sat. night sleepovers). I know because I’ve had the chance to compare the two religions up close that they share a tremendous amount, particularly in the liturgy.

      • Mo at Mocadeaux

        Yes, Sunday morning Mass was as much a part of Saturday night sleep-overs as popcorn and late night movies! And it’s so true that at the core our religions are based on the same general principals. Love is love.

    • Mo at Mocadeaux

      I’m sure that your children are benefitting, as we are, from learning about customs that are different than their own. Honestly, I think this kind of sharing of traditions gives the kids (and all of us) a richer life experience.
      I will pass along your good wishes to Annie and Jerry!

  • Chris Carter

    This is just fascinating!!! I am absolutely impressed with your loving acceptance of this new faith and I just adore this story!!! It surely sounds like your daughter found happiness in the right place, and your support and respect are beautiful, mama!

    • Mo at Mocadeaux

      I’m glad you enjoyed reading our story, Chris.

  • Deborah Lonergan

    I, too, am a convert to Judaism, very late in life. My husband was raised Catholic, I was raised Episcopalian. n over thirty years of marriage we didn’t manage to find a church, Catholic, Episcopalian or other, that suited us. There are interfaith (Jewish and Christian) marriages on both sides, but somehow, despite family Seders, baby-naming ceremonies, and weddings, we had never been to a complete Torah service. About two years ago we went to a friend’s daughter’s Bat Mitzvah, looked at each other and said, “This makes sense”. I converted a year ago. Hubby hasn’t quite gotten around to it yet, so here we are, married thirty five years, another family interfaith couple, celebrating my second Rosh Hashanah.

    • Mo at Mocadeaux

      What a great story, Deborah. I think that the choice of religion is a very personal thing and should be guided by what feels right to each individual. The approach you took seems like it will result in a much more meaningful long term experience. As you said, “It makes sense.”

      • Deborah Lonergan

        Thank you for your comment, Mo!

  • http://TheDoseofReality.com/ The Dose of Reality

    This made me tear up. this story is absolutely beautiful! I wish all children had such loving and supportive parents. –Lisa

    • Mo at Mocadeaux

      Lisa, they make it easy because they are such amazing people.

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  • http://www.thefiftyfactor.com/ Joanna Jenkins

    May you and your family all have a happy and healthy New Year.

    Your story made me smile.
    jj

    • Mo at Mocadeaux

      Thanks, Joanna! The same to you and your family!

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