Passover Or Baseball?


As most of you know, I have two children from a previous interfaith marriage, and while they are being exposed to both Judaism and Christianity, they are basically being raised Christian. They’ve always been included in all Jewish holiday activities, but this year, for the first time, we’ve got a conflict.

My oldest son has a tee-ball game scheduled for the first night of Passover. If he was being raised Jewish, then there wouldn’t be any question as to what to do–we’d go to my Dad’s house for Passover. However, since he isn’t being raised Jewish, I don’t think it is fair for me to force him to miss his game. On the other hand, it isn’t fair for me to automatically exclude him from going to Passover with Julie and me.

I thought that I had this all worked out…that I’d give him a chance to decide, and that regardless of his decision, Julie and I were going to my Dad’s for Passover. But now I am not so sure… What example do I want to set for him? The one where sports are not the most important thing in life, or the one where I am always there supporting him?

For the record, his mom says that it is fine for him to miss the game and go to the Passover seder as planned. Ultimately, this instance isn’t a big deal, but it is the first of what will likely be many similar situations, and so the precedent that is set is important.

2 thoughts on “Passover Or Baseball?”

  • Dana, thank you for your feedback. And you’re right, it is probably asking too much for him to make this decision now. When I discussed this with his mother, her immediate response was “he’s going with y’all to Passover, end of discussion.” So she is definitely supportive. I am sure that his coach will be, too. Since posting this entry, I’ve decided that it is important to me that my children are there for Passover, sharing in the heritage and traditions of our family.

  • Every family is different, and it’s most important for you to figure out the solution that works for YOUR family. That means the entire family — not just you, and not just your son. Asking your son to decide may be giving a young child too much responsibility. Ask yourself where you want your family relationships to be 8 or 10 years from now, when your son is truly old enough to make this decision — and will insist upon it. If you want him to choose to respect and share in the religious rituals of his father and grandfather at that time, you can’t give him the message today that participation is optional. If this were my family, I would let the child know that one t-ball game must be missed in order to celebrate Passover as a family. I would discuss it with his mother, as well as his t-ball coach, to make sure everyone is supportive. You need the “village” to be on your side at times like this.

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