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Kellman says she is being forced to examine what it means to be Jewish in a Jewish state, "especially when you are not Orthodox." Her husband laughs at her when she lights Shabbat candles on Friday night or uses special dishes for Passover.
Kellman has fond memories of "going to temple on the High Holy Days, fasting on Yom Kippur, singing and dancing around the Torah on Simchat Torah." She would like to give her children the same experience, but her husband, a third-generation sabra, believes otherwise.
"He doesn't see the need to demonstrate his Jewishness by performing rituals or going to the synagogue," she says.
Like many Israelis who are "secular" Jews, the fact that his country is a Jewish state is enough.
The baggage of cultural mores and behavioral patterns the husbands bring to the relationship may complicate, not help, these intercultural marriages. The woman who came to Israel out of idealistic convictions at age 18, meeting and marrying her husband there, has a different experience from the one who met her husband while he was in the United States and came to Israel only because of him.
In other instances, backgrounds may be so similar that the marriage cannot truly be called cross-cultural.
Barbara Bar-Yaakov, a graphic artist and mother of two sabras, or native-born Israelis, always regarded herself as a liberal, committed to civil rights for African-Americans.
Yet when she applied her convictions to Arabs, her husband thought her naive.
They most like what they are to.) There is little, however, to be gained from idle speculation or self-flagellation.
(I take with a pinch of salt, these days, the Israeli woman’s oft-heard assertion that she likes English manners.
Most Israeli guys would have in the first date pub.
Petulant and keyboard happy as ever, I cannot resist the knee-jerk response: “Not looking for great dates at this stage. I ponder, for example, whether having been bolder, more forthright, more Israeli, and having made a move in the second date tapas bar might, just might, have paid dividends.
"The synagogue he doesn't attend is an Orthodox one." Laurel Avissar, a dental assistant who has been in Israel for eight years and married for three of them, says marriage to an Israeli provides "an inside look at Israeli society — good and bad." As a single woman, she was unaware of the strength and intensity of family ties in many Israeli households. "My in-laws are not the only ones who expect their married children to grace their table every Friday night or, failing that, to visit on Saturday," says Avissar.