Wednesday, December 07, 2005

A Guest Posting From My Wife - Walking In A Winter Wonderland, Oblivious

On Monday, I took my three year-old daughter and 18 month-old son over to my friend's house to play with her three year-old daughter. Although my friend's husband is Jewish, she is not, and her house is full of Christmas decorations. My daughter and son were admiring the pretty 'holiday" decorations that were up around the house but had no idea why the decorations were in place. They just thought the lights and the tree were pretty. When my daughter saw a frame picture of her little friend with a man in a red suit, beard, and funny hat, she turned to my friend and asked who was in the picture with the little girl. Meanwhile, my 18-month old stood there and waved at the picture; convinced that any man with a long beard had to be a rabbi or somehow related to Uncle Moishy.

My friend looked at me with a look of astonishment. How on earth could my three year-old not know the name of the man in the red suit? My friend responded, "Wow! You are doing a great job with your kids."

It wasn't until this experience did I realize how "Jewish" of an environment we have created for our children. It has showed me the importance of having two Jewish parents (especially the mother) to teach children about their heritage.

10 Comments:

At December 7, 2005 at 7:11:00 AM EST, Blogger MC Aryeh said...

I would have to agree with your friend -it sure sounds like you are doing a great job with your kids. Do you find it difficult to explain to your daughter why she is different from her friend? Do you worry about exposing her to Santa and Xmas trees?

 
At December 7, 2005 at 8:40:00 AM EST, Blogger yitz said...

Hey, man, you just don't have this problem in Israel! Check out Jameel's post from yesterday:

http://muqata.blogspot.com/2005/12/chanuka-israels-winter-holiday-season.html

 
At December 7, 2005 at 8:53:00 AM EST, Blogger torontopearl said...

Even a friend might've been more sarcastic and said something condoning like: "How can they not know? You don't live in a Jewish ghetto, you know...or maybe you do?!"

As a matter of fact, my children, although older than yours, have asked me to drive them around to see Xmas lights and exterior house decorations in nearby neighborhoods. I enjoy seeing the colors and brightness, too. From a young age, they understood that we're Jewish and that Santa Claus does not visit us, nor do we visit him at the mall!

 
At December 7, 2005 at 8:54:00 AM EST, Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

We're waiting for you in Israel, just drop us a line!

We even Job Hunt for you!

Regards,

jameel

 
At December 7, 2005 at 10:21:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Thanks for all your comments. I will post my wife's responses later today when she gets home.

 
At December 7, 2005 at 4:41:00 PM EST, Blogger Jewish Blogmeister said...

This post reminds me of purim. I went with a friend to visit this Rabbi who was a principle. My eyes must of fell out of my sockets: he was dressed as Santa..

 
At December 7, 2005 at 11:31:00 PM EST, Blogger Alan aka Avrum ben Avrum said...

"It has showed me the importance of having two Jewish parents (especially the mother) to teach children about their heritage." ... to which I would respond .... Shm'a beni mussar avicha v'al titoish TORAS IMECHA! I am ...

Very Sincerely yours,

Alan D. Busch

 
At December 8, 2005 at 2:37:00 AM EST, Blogger yitz said...

JB,

You just reminded me of the time that I once spent Purim in Galus New York, and when visiting a Modzitz friend, from a Yekke background, who's a bit on the, er, "dietetically challenged" side, and yes, he was dressed as St. Nick. He even want around saying, "Ho, ho, ho, and a Happy Purim to one and all!"

Of course, here in Israel, most of that would be "lost" on people...

 
At December 8, 2005 at 6:45:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

MCAryeh: Here is the response from my wife:

"Thank you. I appreciate your kind words. At this young age, it is not difficult to explain things to my daughter since she understands everything in black and white terms. That is, we can simply tell her that someone who has a Christmas tree is not Jewish.

As she gets older, I think it will become more difficult to explain to her why her friends she thinks are Jewish, have a Christmas tree or go to visit Santa Claus (mixed marriages).

In any case, the widespread occurrence of inter-marriage is going to be something we deal with for entire lifetime."

 
At December 8, 2005 at 6:53:00 AM EST, Blogger yitz said...

I hate to be a nag, but...

HERE IN ISRAEL intermarriage is MUCH LESS of a problem. In fact, until the Labor gov't imported several thousands of Russian goyim to this country during the 1990s, it was practically non-existent - who would wanna marry an Arab?

Simple, that's another point to explain to your wife...add it to the list you're probably already accumulating! ;))

 

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