Last night we celebrated passover at my parent’s house. As usual, my mom put together a beautiful seder and an amazing meal. Our passover seder have certainly changed over the years with the arrival of Kai and Reese but the tradition of good wine, good food, family and a pretty good attempt at reading out of the seder book remains in tack. So what if “Dayenu” changed to “Grandma Mare, Mare, Mare, Mare” after everyone finished her famous and delicious Matzo ball soup. For my family, jewish holidays are much more about tradition, food and family vs. religion (against my mothers wishes sometimes). This year it was fun to see Kai become interested in the traditions of Passover. He was really into reading from the Haggadah and the story of the cup of Elijah had him intrigued. He was especially excited to search for the afikoman and get a present once he found it.
I have had a few people over the years make funny comments to me that I am only 1/2 Jewish because my dad is Catholic and my mom is Jewish. After a beautiful night of family and celebration, I have decided to use this platform to officially put that view to rest. I am not 1/2 Jewish, I am 100% Jewish. Religiously, culturally and certainly traditionally I am Jewish. I grew up in the synagogue, I attended hebrew school and my beliefs are those of Jewish belief. As an adult I feel strong in my beliefs as a Jew are very much about the celebration and appreciation of the culture and tradition of being Jewish. I am proud of my religion, my upbringing love how my religion brings together my family. I laugh thinking about a Passover about 5 years ago where my catholic dad was “hogging” all the readings in the seder book. Literally my mom, sister and I could not participate, he just kept reading as Linz and I were exchanging glances across the table and laughing. He was in the moment, passionate and supportive and if I could speak for him I know that he would say that his passion comes from being supportive of how our religion brings together family. If I am being honest, I would have to also admit that his support could come from the fact that drinking wine is often a requirement during Jewish ceremony. The Irish catholic in him can get behind a tradition like that.
Several people have asked Ted and I over the years (following in my mothers footsteps, I married a strong Irish catholic man) how we were going to raise our children in a religious setting. Truthfully, Ted and I don’t have those answers yet. We don’t need to have those answers yet but I am comfortable with the unknown on this topic. I never went to church with my dad growing up but we certainly participated and supported his beliefs when it came to catholic holidays. If teaching my children what daddy believes in and what mommy believes in makes a child who understand and appreciates differences while embracing tradition and family, I feel that I might never need an answer.
Happy Passover to my wonderful family!