Tips for Jewish-Christian Couples at Spring Holidays
by Kathryn Frazier 6/24/2010 / Holidays
Passover and Easter both symbolize core beliefs, and can spark friction for a Jewish/Christian couple. This is especially true when the holidays overlap. Take heart. You can share in the traditions of your faiths, and deepen your relationship with your partner, with a little effort.
* Spruce up together. Rid your home of yeast before Passover, brighten up a corner with a spring theme, and enjoy the fresh feeling of a clean home.
* Explain to relatives in advance that it's time for you to begin your own traditions. Take turns visiting before or after the holidays.
* Plan a day to enjoy a non-religious spring activity together, like planting flowers, picnicking, or hiking.
* Purchase a new piece of clothing, hair accessory, or tie. Be sure to give away something when you do.
* Make holiday foods together. Don't forget the colored eggs and gelfite fish.
* Pray together before and after meals.
* Many Christians are open to some traditions of Judaism, because they include elements of their own faith. During the Spring holidays, some interfaith couples light Sabbath candles and say prayers for their children and for one another on Friday night.
* Consider an interfaith Seder. The ultra-streamlined Seder at http://www.littlethingscount.com/lentseder.htm is written especially for interfaith gatherings, and blends the celebration of the exodus of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt, with the celebration of the Last Supper of Jesus (which was a Passover Seder), without compromising either faith.
* Share what your holiday means to you, and your favorite childhood holiday memories. Listen, understand, and get to know each other better.
* If you cannot in good conscience accompany your spouse to church on Easter, send him with your blessings. Make plans to share a special lunch afterwards.
* It is reasonable for the Jewish partner to expect yeast to stay out of the home during Passover. The Christian spouse should respect this, and not bring foods with yeast into the home. Even if your spouse doesn't usually keep kosher, this is not the time to bring yeast or other non-kosher foods, like ham, into the home. Try something else for lunch when Easter falls during Passover observances.
* It is not reasonable to expect the Christian spouse to remain yeast-free throughout the holiday, when eating away from home. The Jewish spouse should respect this, and not try to control the eating habits of a non-Jewish spouse.
* Agree ahead of time on what you both feel comfortable allowing your children to eat when they are away from home during Passover. Be united, and do what you say you will. No sneaking your child a cupcake, if you've agreed not to. And no trying to make your child feel guilty, if you agreed to allow it. Let teens decide for themselves.
In short, be considerate of one another, and you will find shalom and ahavahpeace and lovein your home during this holy season.
Copyright 2011, Kathryn A. Frazier.
Kathryn lives with her husband and children in Tampa, Florida. It's hot there. And swampy. With gators. She's really brave. PreciousHolidays@yahoo.com