Dear Rabbi Simon
I am a practising Roman Catholic very committed to my faith in God. I am engaged to marriage a Jewish man. We both have symbols of our faiths and if we get a house together want to share these. Would the crucifix, the symbol of my faith, be allowed in our home? My boyfriend has decided to have kosher food which I have accepted, and I am very open to his display of Jewish books and symbols. We share the Old Testament and Psalms and of course our strong belief in God but I need also the symbol that is central to my faith.
Thank you for your question, which touches on the significance of religious symbols and what they represent, as well as the Jewish view of religious pluralism in general, and mixed faith marriage in particular.
The Jewish faith cannot consecrate the marital bond between a Jewish spouse and one who is not Jewish. That is not to say that Judaism denies the existence of many such unions, some of which may be mutually fulfilling for both partners. Nevertheless, in theological terms, such a relationship cannot be religiously valid marriage.
Having said that, I recognize that this was not exactly your question.
Regarding the symbol of a crucifix, representing your Christian faith, this is not appropriate for a Jewish home. I acknowledge your open-mindedness and preparedness to compromise with regard to kosher food and Jewish symbols. However, the fact remains that the crucifix represents doctrinal beliefs which are incompatible with Jewish principles (such as those set out by Maimonides, in his 13 Principles of Faith). So unfortunately, this is an area in which Judaism is unable to reciprocate your religious pluralism.
I am sorry that I am unable to offer a more accommodating response to your question.
Rabbi Rashi Simon