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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.
I didn't think he would have had the heart to do it, but the relationship ended before his will was tested.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 the day I’d long hoped for, marrying a nice Jewish girl. In fact, by the time we’d started dating, I’d given up on Jewish women, and my dream of a perfect Jewish wedding, altogether. The intense pressure I felt to date and marry within the tribe damaged my perception of Jewish women and my ability to be myself around them.This information was pounded in from all directions, from rabbis, from my parents, my grandparents, Hebrew High School, Camp Ramah.