patriarchy

Taking on Tradition

What do you do when you suddenly realize you’re the leadership body of all that is Jewish in your family? The family looks to you for decision making, taking a lead on practice and celebration, and generally waits for you to make a move when it comes to holidays. That’s pressure, right?

It didn’t happen overnight. What was sudden was the realization that the initiative now needs to come from me. I can’t sit around waiting for holiday celebration to just happen. For the past few years, I’ve been the resident mashgiach (kosher food supervisor) to my mother and sister. As I write this, my sister texts me about whether or not she can eat particular foods this Passover. Holiday dinners are often catered to my own practices, not the practices of the host (I have conflicting feelings about this but ultimately feel honored and cared for). Three years ago I was living in a somewhat oversized apartment in Brooklyn (and paying through the nose for it, don’t kid yourself). It simply made sense to use the space for a Passover Seder, so along with a friend and former colleague, we put something together. (more…)