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Did visiting the place your family immigrated from help you in your faith?

Sorry for the long post… the TL;DR is basically the question I asked above.

For those who want more details: My fiancé and I are going to Germany this spring. Part of the trip is for a wedding, and part of it is going to be for us to do some ancestry research for her side of the family. She sometimes feels like I am guilting her when I mention my concerns with rising anti-semitism in Europe and also with mention of wanting to visit memorial sites that may contain information about her family that was lost. From what I understand, her family tried to hide their “jewish-ness” upon coming to America, aside from going through with b’nei mitzvot and going to shul for high holidays. They wanted to “pass” however they could.

I grew up conservadox and consider myself observant still, I keep kosher, mostly observe sabbath, etc. but feel as though I have not been as observant as I would like to be, especially considering our wedding will be conservadox as well.

My fiancé grew up reformed, if that. She had a bat mitzvah but it seems like she had a “rent a rabbi” type situation there. She does make an excellent brisket however. 😉

As I grew up, my mother constantly told stories of our family and the sacrifices made to get to the United States and how many members of our family were wiped out in the Holocaust. Those stories have caused me to put things in perspective and to honor my faith in a way to pay homage to those who cannot be here today to see the freedom we have as Jews (though this is not the case everywhere, I am grateful for the freedom I am afforded).

All I want really is for her to find some closure, understanding, and potentially some spiritual connection to the Jewish faith. I am not trying to push anything in her face but I do think there are things she wants to know and things she doesn’t want to know, and the things she doesn’t want to know are likely going to lead her to what she does want to know if that makes sense.

I know this is a long post…but any advice or any stories of your own on how this worked out for you or peers would be greatly appreciated.

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Source: Reditt

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