One of the Zax says, “ I’ll stay here, not budging! Who stand in the same place presumably for the rest of their lives while a bustling city is built around them. When Mom and The Honker got married in our living room, I wore a dark dress and pouted in all the pictures.I can and I will If it makes you and me and the whole world stand still! The last page of the story is wild with bright colors and a new skyline and the Zax are frowning under a highway bypass because they still refuse to change direction. It doesn’t rhyme or have fun pictures and I don’t think this one should ever be told to children, but I’ll share it with you. It’s based on a series of real events called my life. The Honker was ridiculously chipper in the morning.
I, in my bubble of optimistic self-gratification, and my father – mourning the potential loss of future generations. I felt the weight of my Jewish identity on my fragile shoulders. This is an event that took place almost two decades ago, but looking at today’s frightening assimilation statistics, it could have happened yesterday. Getting Back to Basics How do we practically go about nurturing a caring relationship with our Jewishness? Jewish educational institutions and community groups are the necessary lifelines that extend from our homes to our collective future.
I almost became a statistic, except for one redeeming factor: I cared. We need to nourish ourselves with more Jewishness in order to ensure their success.
Also, my wife doesn’t care that this boy isn’t Jewish; in fact, I seem to be the only one in either my wife’s family or mine who opposes this relationship or that it could result in marriage, God forbid a billion times over. I love my daughter very much and I want a relationship with her, but I don’t know what to say or do to make her understand how important it is for her to marry within the Jewish faith.
I am a regular Sabbath and holiday shul-goer, and we do at least try to observe in the house, although my wife does it mostly in deference to me.
I was the one who adamantly declared that I would never marry out.
Not because my parents were against it; they didn’t need to tell me because my traditional Jewish upbringing and day-school education were my safeguards.I was so connected to my Jewish identity that my betrayal of it was not even statistically probable. I stopped socializing with them in silent protest, after a more outspoken effort had failed.I self-righteously concluded that we had nothing in common, since they were prepared to give their Jewish identity the backseat.But don’t expect us to be anything other than civil. For the first time ever, I had stumped my brilliant lawyer father. If it’s so hard for you to end it now, think how difficult it will be later, since there will be a time when it will end, according to you. Jewish day school, Jewish friends, a traditional Jewish home. For the first time in my life, I consciously thought about, and decided, who I was, what I wanted to be, and what was truly important. I never saw or spoke to him again, although I cried for days.It’s just too hard.” I wanted so much to honor my parents. Seeking Legal Counsel The next day I found myself in the car with my father. There we sat for a good few minutes, lost in our separate worlds. ” “Because it’s important that we preserve our unique heritage.” he replied, surprised by this basic question coming from me. “Yes, but what’s so special about our heritage, I mean, why is it SO important that there be Jews in the world? “Because we are supposed to be a light among the nations,” he stressed, wondering where this was going. “So, Dad, if our heritage is so special, and we have to be a light among the nations, and my entire future depends on it, why do I eat Mc Donalds, and why on earth don't we keep Shabbat?! Why would an intelligent girl do that to herself, or worse, to the person she says she cares about?! My heart was heavy with respect for my parents and the desire to please them. Why had it been so fundamentally clear to me that I would marry a Jew? There had been no challenge, no threat, no temptation. But now my exclusive Jewish education and traditional upbringing was on trial. I don’t really know why, but I think it had something to do with my soul. If we want the Jewish People to survive, we need to care about all these things, more than we care about ourselves. All the private Jewish day schooling, extra-curricular activities, tutoring, youth groups, social events, community get-togethers, online newsletters, dating clubs and support groups have a gargantuan uphill battle and built-in disadvantage when faced with the masses of Jews that grow up in homes void of any practical Jewish expression.So isn’t it time for you to practice your faith and adapt to some of theirs?