My Ex is Jewish. I’m Not. So Why Am I Raising My Children Jewish?

jewish-2445887_1920Elijah looks like a small man in an oversized suit as the rabbi hands him the Torah. My son presses it against his chest and right shoulder. His 12-year-old arms aren’t long enough to wrap fully around this sacred book. He hugs it tightly as he steps off the bima toward the congregation.

My eyes follow my firstborn through the crowd. There’s a part of me that wonders on this chilly Saturday morning what we’re still doing here at this temple. I feel proud of this boy and also uneasy and alone as I witness him completing a path that jogs so far from mine. This coming-of-age ceremony solidifies that our religious paths will never meet.

5 comments on “My Ex is Jewish. I’m Not. So Why Am I Raising My Children Jewish?

  1. Rachel on

    Beautiful. Elijah, with your essential help and love, is taking something broken and while honoring the old, also making something new with those broken pieces. To me that seems like the central legacy and lesson of Judaism – as well as faith and family, in all its changing forms. Thank you both for sharing your story.

  2. Stacey McArthur on

    I so appreciate your kind and wise words, Rachel. I told Elijah that you you had thanked him for sharing his story.

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