Sorry, You've Got to Keep Talking

We do love a good talk here on the Seesaw…but a fruitful talk also assumes that either a) the person you are talking to is willing to listen or b) relationships evolve with time.

Some thoughts (that do include talking, sorry).

Between Passover, Hanukkah and some Shabbat in the summer, your kids are actually participating in many Jewish traditions. More than many non-observant Jews! Still, I can imagine that it’s hard for your mom to hear “But they aren’t Jewish” and so she has fixated on Shabbat.

In advance of this summer’s lake house vacation, I think you need to call your mom and say something very clear: “We love being together with you in the summer and we all love celebrating Shabbat together with you. We do not keep Shabbat and I am sorry that this still makes you sad after 10 years, but that’s something you need to work out with someone else. We are happy with our choices and our children are celebrating Jewish tradition and absorbing Jewish values, along with our other values. Let’s make the experience together wonderful and meaningful for the kids and not mix it up with other baggage.”

At some point, you just might have to take a break from these summer trips if she continues to berate you and your family’s choices, because you can’t live like that. It may just give her time to think about her choices, as well. It doesn’t sound like there’s a lot much more to discuss — and you don’t want to keep arguing.

Rebecca Lehrer is the Co-Founder and CEO of The Mash-Up Americans, a website and consultancy representing the hybrid culture and new face of America. The Mash-Up Americans is exploring Spanglish, kimchi + more, just not on Shabbos.

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Sorry, You've Got to Keep Talking

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close