Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Happy Passover!

I'm half Jewish (the paternal half, I'm afraid, making me technically not Jewish by birth), and my family celebrates a few Jewish holidays. Passover is one of them. We're not terribly observant of all the customs (my kids will NOT give up their sandwiches!) but we do have a Seder dinner. We also celebrate Hanukkah, and on that occasion I went into my daughter's school to give a presentation about Hanukkah and cook some latkes for the first and second grades.

One of my daughter's friends was there, and like all the kids she enjoyed the presentation. Later, though, she told me that she wished she could celebrate Hanukkah too and have all-you-can-eat latkes, but her father had said that you can't celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas. Since I knew she was half Mexican, I asked her if her family celebrated Cinco de Mayo, and she said yes. I asked her if they also celebrated Fourth of July, and she said yes. I told her that if you can celebrate both Cinco de Mayo and Fourth of July, you can celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas. And, I told her, anyone can cook latkes at any time of year.

So our Passover/Easter season is upon us, and we are very busy cooking both brisket and ham. Some of the people around here frown on such cross-religious practices, but this is my family's tradition, and it means something to me. And I personally don't see any conflict in celebrating Jewish holidays even though I'm a Christian. The Jewish holidays I celebrate commemorate the history of the Jewish people, which is my history too.