Spiritual education is a keystone of how I am raising my sons, and I am always inspired to hear how other parents are working to raise their children along a spiritual path. In the series Parenting and Faith I feature posts from bloggers discussing how their religion or philosophy influences their parenting. I am so pleased to share today’s post, which comes to us from Erica of What Do We Do All Day?
I grew up in a very homogenous town. My guess is that 97% of the people were white. Although I was fortunate to have parents who taught me the value of diversity, I felt the limitations of my restricted cultural environment.
When I moved to New York City in my late twenties I immediately fell in love with the way being surrounded by people of so many different backgrounds and cultures added an energy and vibrancy to daily life. Now that I am married and have kids, I feel so lucky to be able to raise my boys in this diverse city.
When I was growing up it never occurred to me that I might marry someone who didn’t share a similar heritage and while, yes, my husband and I do share a European background he is Jewish and I am not. Growing up, my exposure to Judaism consisted almost entirely of making latkes in my third grade classroom. Clearly, I had a lot to learn!
It’s been a wonderful education, learning about my husband’s Jewish heritage. He is not particularly religious, but he does observe the holidays and as he teaches our kids their religious history, I learn alongside them.
Recently, I decided to take a more active role and this year have decided to make challah with the boys every Friday.
Challah is a braided egg bread, traditionally eaten on the Sabbath.
I make the dough in the early afternoon while the boys are at school and after they come home we braid the dough together and bake it. When we braid it we discuss why we are having challah on a Friday. We are still working up to including a Sabbath blessing with our meal, but we have to start somewhere!
It’s lovely for our family to share this tradition together. We’ve cobbled together a simple and secular way of celebrating my husband’s faith that I can participate in by crafting the bread with the kids’ help. I hope the process of making and eating challah on Friday nights will be a great memory for them, whether or not they continue it as adults with their own families.
If you want to try making challah, I highly recommend The Challah Blog for loads of recipes and helpful tips.
Erica (aka “Mom and Kiddo”) is a SAHM to two very rowdy boys, ages 4 and 8. She blogs at What Do We Do All Day? where she blogs about children’s books, indoor activities for kids and everyday learning ideas. You can connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest or Google+.