I their respective church and synagogue. They dress differently

I really enjoyed the movie, Keeping the Faith. The story behind
the movie was interesting, and the characters were charismatic. The movie
touches upon some serious themes in a profound way. I especially appreciated
the message about intermarriage, and the importance of maintaining tradition.

            The movie
focuses primarily on the struggles and concerns Jake, the rabbi, has about his
relationship with Anna. Jake is concerned on how this interfaith relationship
with Anna would affect his family, career and segregation. As he contemplates
intermarriage, he thinks to himself: Will I disappoint my community? How will
marriage affect my family?  The dilemma Jake is facing is one shared by
many Jewish partners, as it was mentioned in class.

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            Throughout the
movie, we learn how Jake’s mother made the decision to cut off his older
brother from her life due to him marrying outside the religion. It was very
interesting how Jake advocates for his brother and tries to convince his mother
to reconnect with him. On the other hand, he still struggles with the idea of
intermarriage and what it would mean to his mother and community. As the rabbi,
I can assume that the complications of his relationship were enhanced by his
visibility within the congregation.

            The importance
of maintaining tradition was a theme observed throughout. Both the priest and
the rabbi were new clergy at their respective church and synagogue. They dress
differently and act in a very modern way in and work hard to vitalize their
respective worship services. In a scene in the movie the priest said in a
sermon about God being connections and faith being participating in worship as
a way to experience those connections. As someone who grew up catholic, I found
it a very refreshing interpretation and one I did not hear in church. I also
liked how the rabbi mixed things up at his synagogue by bringing in a gospel
choir to sing. From the reactions in the movie, I think it is fair to assume
this is not something common or that it has never been done before. I would
love to hear the opinions about this within the Jewish community.

They were both trying
new ways to keep people engaged and active during services. However, they were
being restricted by their superiors with the idea of keeping tradition. In the
movie, it is mentioned that tradition is comforting to people. That keeping old
habits and practices has been working for centuries. So why change it?

            This keeping
tradition is clearly enforced when it comes to marriage. The Jewish community
expects its member to marry within the community. The reality of having rabbi
falling in love with a non-Jew is something relatable to many. Some of us are
part of communities and religions that expect us to continue the tradition of
marrying one of our own. I really appreciated the movie recognizing that love
can trump tradition, and that doing so one is not rejecting their religion.

            Something I
would have loved to see in the movie is the issue concerning children. Would
she be willing to raise children within Judaism? Does she have to convert to
raise the children within Judaism? If she does not convert, can the children
still be raised within Judaism? I am very intrigued by the process of
converting and what it means and represents.

            Overall,
Keeping the Faith was a remarkable movie, and one I will definitely watch
again.