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In high school, this decision proved to be mostly moot. I tried not to follow up on them at first, but I was frustrated and lonely and had finite willpower.After one date, though, I would beat myself up mentally for breaking my rule, and I’d avoid making second dates.

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.

Until recent decades, the idea of a Catholic marrying outside the faith was practically unheard of, if not taboo.

Such weddings took place in private ceremonies in the parish rectory, not in a church sanctuary in front of hundreds of friends and family.

My family taught me to value community, to treasure family, and, above all, to always question the norm.

I chose a partner who is logical and studious, kind and sensitive, creative and invested in family, and, above all, able to question the norm.

Judaism generally recognizes that Christians and Moslems worship the same G-d that we do and those who follow the tenets of their religions can be considered righteous in the eyes of G-d.

Contrary to popular belief, Judaism does not maintain that Jews are better than other people.

The story goes on to say that the Jews were offered the Torah last, and accepted it only because G-d held a mountain over their heads! , the words generally translated as "at the foot of the mountain" literally mean "underneath the mountain"!

) Another traditional story suggests that G-d chose the Jewish nation because they were the lowliest of nations, and their success would be attributed to G-d's might rather than their own ability.

Even though Jewishness really doesn't and shouldn't lie on a spectrum, people have called me "very Jewish." I go to synagogue. Jews as a group have historically valued study, logical ability, artistic prowess, and social justice work. There are one or two of us who have become famous athletes.