Tuesday, December 29, 2009

There Was This Priest and This Rabbi

The fact that Sharon was Catholic and I was Jewish was never really an issue  ... until Nikki attended a Jewish preschool.

Don't get me wrong ... The school was great. We were both excited to find a preschool that had such a stellar reputation ... and Nikki was very happy there.  She didn't even mind the fact that there was a limited lunch selection. The preschool  had a Kosher kitchen so we could only give her peanut butter sandwiches every day. That was the only food that was allowed from the "outside".

Note: For those not familiar with Kosher kitchens, the simplified explanation is that meat and milk can never touch each other (apparently they had a nasty divorce a long time ago ... meat must have wandered outside the marriage). No other food from outside can come close to either one. Why peanut butter is allowed is a mystery. I guess it's not interested in a relationship with either meat or milk.
Anyway ... where was I? Oh yes ... The real dilemma was really not lunch ... it was religion.

We assumed Nikki enjoyed being Jewish and Catholic. She loved the holidays ... why not? She made out like a bandit. She left milk and cookies for Santa ... right before she tore into gifts under the tree. Some of them were actually hers.

She lit the candles and memorized the Hannukah blessings ... led the Seder at Passover ... then ran outside for the Easter egg hunt.

But ... Nikki became confused and unhappy ... as time went on she wanted to be one or the other ... NOT both. She was trying to figure out "what she was". "Both" didn't work any more. This prompted LOTS of CONVERSATION  ... there were Alissa and Josh ... both just babies ... what to do? We made the BIG decision as a family: We would be Jewish.

We decided to make it official ... we loaded the kids into the car and drove to New Orleans ... met with an Orthodox rabbi who was the only one I found that would actually convert the three kids "officially" into the Jewish religion. They swam a few laps in the "mikvah" conversion pool. The rabbi gave them three new Jewish names and three new certificates. Then we loaded up the three new Jews and came back to St. Pete.

At 12, Nikki studied for her Bat Mitzvah, worked hard and did an incredible job. She opened all her gifts, deposited her Bat Mitzvah money and proudly said ...

"Okay ... enough of that ... I'd like to be Catholic now!"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That Kosher definition was for me, wasnt' it???

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