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When my boyfriend asked my parents for my hand in marriage, he reassured my father that he understood the importance of Judaism in our lives and would honor and uphold Jewish traditions and values.

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He also believed that marriage was "tough enough as it is" and "easier if you start with a common culture, religion, and values." Years ago, my father threatened to disown my older sister if she married her non-Jewish boyfriend.

I didn't think he would have had the heart to do it, but the relationship ended before his will was tested.

He had come to adore this young man and saw that we were happy together.

In the months that followed, friends and family were surprised at how well my father was "handling" our engagement.

As the years went by and our relationship intensified, my boyfriend accompanied me to many a (Shabbat songs).