This year, for the first time in the three years since my partner and I have been together, I observed Passover with him. It has taken me a month to put to words what this experience meant to me.
Passover is my partner’s favorite Jewish holiday. He loves the symbolism, the message and most importantly the gathering of family and friends. Last year we hosted our first seder and it was amazing to watch him lead our group of Jewish and non-Jewish friends and family through the rituals. His passion for his faith and culture are one of the many reasons I fell in love with him in the first place.
This year since we are planning our wedding, we decided not to host. Although I had known for a long time that I would be spending the rest of my life with him, getting engaged made me think even more about our future and what it truly means to be in an interfaith relationship. While reading The New Jewish Wedding, we came upon the chapter on creating a Jewish home and quickly realized we had already done that. We keep a fairly kosher kitchen, we have mezuzot on door frames and our kiddush cup makes an appearance on the dining room table on Fridays (when we can). But with Passover approaching this year, our first as an engaged couple and our last before we’re married, I started to think more about what it means to create a Jewish life for us and for our future children.
I decided to observe Passover this year for several reasons. I wanted to stand in solidarity with my partner. To him, Passover is more that just a week of eating matzah, it’s a week to reflect on the excesses in our lives. I wanted to experience being mindful of what I eat, when on the daily I have the privilege of not having to. I also wanted to be able to share with our future children that just because Mami isn’t Jewish doesn’t mean she can’t be a part of everything they experience as Jews.
It wasn’t an easy week. Meal planning was crucial and I definitely ate more fruits and nuts than I ever thought I would. I made it though the week. And that slice of pizza and first sip of beer after it was all over was truly amazing. In the end Passover wasn’t about giving anything up. It was about gaining a new perspective of what my life will be like going forward. And just one more reminder that I made the right decision when choosing my life partner.
Well as happy as you’re are, I think you missed out on the main messages of Passover. The Jews were saved for keeping their Jewish names, not intermarrying, and speaking Hebrew. While you’re not Jewish your kids won’t be Jewish and you’ll be living a fantasy land.
Passover isn’t some sort of game. If you want to have Jewish children accept the Covenant of the Jewish people. Otherwise you’re doomed with an unpleasant process of kids who won’t be accepted by the majority of Jews, let alone the Torah.
I commend your efforts, but they lack the true motivation of what a Jewish home really is, a Jewish mother and a Jewish father. Intermarried homes create a very confusing environment to the point that most kids who grow up in them don’t feel Jewish and become uninvolved.
I don’t think you understand anything about the Jewish religion at all. Jewish religion is one of acceptance and there are no ultimatums given. A “Jewish home” is a home in which loving families celebrate Jewish traditions and faith. As a Jewish woman myself, your sentiments make me ashamed to be associated with someone else who would be so judgmental.
I applaud Brenda and Jake for creating a home that reflects who they are. Any Jewish person that I know would welcome Brenda (or anyone) with open arms to partake in celebrating our traditions.
Your posting is abelsutloy on the point!