Jew-ish Reply

The following is a poem I wrote when my friend and mentor Esther Cohen (aka The Book Doctor) asked me to write a poem about my children who are both Jewish and Catholic. It’s been included in the Jewish Currents 2015 Calendar which is more like a magazine than a calendar 🙂 Thanks Esther!  You can buy one here if you are interested: http://jewishcurrents.bigcartel.com/product/jewish-currents-2015-arts-calendar

 

Calendar_cover

 

Jew-ish

You are what your mother is. That’s what I was told as a child. My mother is Jewish, therefore I’m Jewish. That seems logical. But, when the father is Irish Catholic and he’s never heard of the rule, you can end up with something very different, like a hybrid. Wikipedia defines the word hybrid as the offspring of two plants or animals of different species or varieties, such as a mule. My kids are definitely the offspring of different species. I grew up in a family of over-sharers. We knew exactly how everyone felt to the minute. My husband, not so much. His New England upbringing found him in a family of tight lips. To this day, he’s not sure if his parents were Democrats or Republicans. Two halves make a whole. Well, not always. Sometimes they make something entirely different. When my kids are sick they crave matzoh ball soup and yet they were all baptized and have spent more time in churches than in temples. But they know the Hebrew prayers and couldn’t begin to recite the Our Father. They make Christmas lists and love eating latkes but ask them about the story of Purim and you’ll likely get blank stares. They believe in god, sometimes, when times are tough but when asked they would probably say ‘they’d have to give it some more thought’. My eldest son was baptized, confirmed and spent Pre-K – High School in Catholic school then went on his birth right trip to Israel after his sophomore year in college. Bagels, candy canes, Old Testament, New Testament, holy water, communion wafers, nuns, mezuzah, brisket and gefilte fish. These kids are a holy mess.

*poetic license was used in the above poem

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