Mommy, You're a Bad Jew!
The other night, my son was playing in the bath and singing Ma Nishtana, the Hebrew four questions that are sung during the Jewish Passover Seder by the youngest member at the table. He asked me to sing along, so I did. We got to the 2nd one (or maybe it was the 3rd one?) and my voice trailed off...
"I don't remember the next line."
"Oh. My. Gosh, mommy!" He said like a pissed off teen.
"You don't know the words to this song???? You're such a bad Jew!"
WHA- WHAAAT??! I'm sorry; did my- only been on this earth for 4.5 years - son just tell me I was a bad Jew? What does HE know about being a good or bad Jew??
Growing up, the majority of the kids I knew were Jewish. We all went to religious schools and Jewish summer camp... We were Bar and Bat Mitzvah'd and most of went on to have Jewish wedding and Jewish babies.... who would one day attend Jewish preschools. But, it wasn't until my son- my 4 year old son- came home, told me the story of Passover, recited some prayers, then asked me to tell him in depth about religious events such as the parting of the Red Sea, that I realized, despite this little Jewish bubble I've resided in for most of my life, I actually don't know much about my religion... I know we have traditions... I know we DO things, and I know how we do things. But the biblical portion of the show is a little blurry for me. But does this really make me a "bad Jew?" My son seems to think so.
Often times, he comes home, excited to share a story about something they learned in school and turns to me to find out MORE about what they've learned.
"Mommy, do you know about Moses?"
Oy. I knooooow, ABOUT Moses, but I don't know ABOUUUUUUUT Moses.
"Yeah, buddy. I know about Moses."
"Do you know he parted the Red Sea?"
"Yes, I know." Thankfully, I do know that.
"Do you know he said to Pharaoh, 'let my people go!'"
"Yes, I know. I know he said that... That Moses." Thankfully, I know that too.
He switches gears. "But can you explain Tu B’Shevat?"
He got me. I cannot answer that.
"Mommy?? Can you tell me about those holidays, please?"
I got nothing. I knoooooooow ABOUT that holiday, but I don't know about THAT holiday.
I guess my point is that while I wouldn't consider myself a "bad Jew," I would consider myself a sh**ty student. I clearly retained nothing except an awesome brisket recipe that has been passed down to generation to generation, which as far as I'm concerned, is as important as knowing the difference between Sukkot and Simchat Torah. (I'd explain what those holidays were to you, but my son, the Rabbi, isn't home from preschool. I'll fill you in later. Maybe.)