My Daughter Keeps Kosher, But I Love Pork – Kveller
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My Daughter Keeps Kosher, But I Love Pork

I love lobster, too...

My name is Rachel, and I’m a treyfaholic. I like bacon, and shrimp, and lobster rolls. I really love lobster rolls. I’m craving a lobster roll right now.

Mmmmm lobster rolls…

My 15-month-old daughter, Adi, is kosher.

How can a 15-month-old keep kosher? I keep her that way. But it’s not sustainable.

My husband and I are pretty secular, and neither of us grew up in particularly kosher homes, so porking out on porky pork pork pork comes more natural to us than looking for the little o-u on packages. And my husband yielded (quite readily) the final decision on the family level of Jew-itude to me.

There have been kosher/religious phases in my life, and I still participate when that Chabadnik on the corner (you know the one) calls me over to do something Jewy, but the past few years have been a screw-it-all treyf party.

But the truth is, if I found out someone gave Adi pork, I’d be upset. Really upset.

Why? I don’t know. I guess I have this compulsion (read: guilt?) to keep Adi kosher. I come from a formerly interfaith family (my father converted from Catholicism to Judaism when I was 19) and growing up, my mother, younger brother, and I endured bullying and anti-Semitism from members of my father’s side of the family. So I’ll be damned if my daughter becomes a Christian. I know that sounds incredibly racist or something… but whatever. That’s how I feel. Judaism or bust.

But one day the pork party will be over. Adi will be old enough to notice that sizzling strip of bacon and ask for some–and then I’ll just be that hypocritical mom and say no. I don’t want to be that hypocritical mom. I had one. Anyone who grew up within the Reform Movement like me had one. Your family (and URJ affiliated synagogue) broke all the big Jewish rules but your ass still had to go to Hebrew school after regular school without any other explanation other than, “just get in the car.” I hated that, and I don’t want that nonsense for my daughter.

So I have to make a decision. Give up the treyf before Adi notices what I’m eating and demands it, or embrace my up until now secular lifestyle and pass her a lobster roll.

I don’t want to pass my daughter the lobster roll.

I have a lot of religious friends (from my various religious phases) and whenever I have a party, I make sure things are kosher. So I can totally pull off kosher. It would be a great way for Adi to feel connected to her Jewish-ness in a way my husband and I never were. It would force me to think harder about and pay attention to what the family is eating. It would even be the perfect way to justify to my husband that I need to buy the Jonathan Adler dishes I’ve had my eye on (I need dairy plates!).

Ok so maybe I don’t need to get two sets of those fabulous dishes (hopefully my husband is reading this and will get them for me anyway)… but at some point (soon, like right after I scarf down this here lobster roll) I’ll need to suck it up and do the Jew.

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