The Fervently Jewish Child

One Jewish parent described her preschooler as having become very excited about Judaism. Mom said her child was expected her to “do Jewish” at a much higher level than she had even done before. Her daughter wants Shabbat each week, insisted on going to adult services for the High Holidays and wanted a sukkah in the back yard with dinner out there each night of Sukkot. Mom was worried about how much work she suddenly saw stretching out before her.

I would suggest going along with this deeper engagement and let it play out. Mom may have a future rabbi on her hands and that’s not a bad thing. Still Mom must ask herself, and discuss with Dad, How much are we willing and able to do? Are we reacting to it being a “religious” interest? Would we be less anxious if our child were fascinated by playing the piano and going to hear pianists play? How is Dad doing with this? Does my husband enjoy this or do we need to moderate the level of Jewish activity because we, the parents, are feeling overwhelmed?You have to make your home comfortable for all of you.

Posted in Children
Published on October 26th, 2010