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Pesach when you're not kosher but your spouse is (or trying to be!)

I'm just curious if anyone else is in a similar situation. My spouse is not fully kosher at all (he can't give up his bacon) but is definitely avoiding the bread for Passover. I'm not:} While I'm extremely proud to be Jewish, I just feel hypocritical as I'm not very religious. This doesn't bother him (though he would be happy if I felt differently). Anyone else in the same boat?

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  1. Mom refuses to give up her bran cereal for breakfast during Passover, and after 40+ years Dad still hasn't walked out on her ;)

    1 Reply
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      I can't give up the bran for breakfast, either. My son and husband have no intentions of trading me in. :)

    2. I'll start off by saying, I am not...in any way....in the same boat.

      Sometimes I think we need a special sub-board just for these posts.

      Nicole, if it is of any help. The heavenly penalty for eating Chametz (bread) is, by the book, and I mean THE BOOK, far worse than eating treif. (pork)

      Try not to let feelings of "hypocrisy" overtake what ever you are trying TO DO for Passover.
      Embrace very achievable goals

      Are you going to a sedar?

      3 Replies
      1. re: vallevin

        We're hosting our family seder in an hour actually:} We're also going to the 2nd seder at our synagogue tomorrow. Thanks for the info; I actually did not know that eating chametz is worse than eating pork. At the same time, if I'm going to avoid chametz I will do it because I want to and not because I feel I should. Otherwise it would seem hollow to me. My hubby understands this. In college I had a boyfriend who "insisted" I avoid chametz. I avoided chametz while eating shrimp :) I know Judaism cares about actions and not always intentions, but my intention at the time was not pi++ing off my boyfriend and not because I felt any religious obligation.

        1. re: NicoleFriedman

          Avoiding chametz for you may be more about following in the tradition of your parents, grandparents, and beyond. It may be about solidarity with your husband and family. It may be an act of connecting with the heritage that you're so proud of. Hope this helps, and chag sameach!

      2. don't feel hypocritical. something is better than nothing, right?

        1. Yes, Vallevin makes an important point. It could be that your spouse is acting on tradition passed on which originates in the more stringent nature of not eating Chametz on Passover over not eating Treif in general. If you are observant, eating leavened foods on Passover is a more serious transgression than eating bacon. In the end, whether people choose to observe or not, I do think it is terribly sad that many of us (observant Jews too) do not know the difference/origin between the bible commandments, commandments of our sages and regional customs. Our culture is so rich that it warrants much study and attention in order to understand the intricacies. I don't think I've ever seen anyone offer that kind of course. If they did, I would love to attend myself. Sorry for the tangent. I know this wasn't what you asked for. I wish you both a happy and healthy Passover.

          1 Reply
          1. We do not keep kosher, but we do keep Pesach. My husband had some trouble with the "hypocrisy" of it at first, but now he goes along and accepts that for one week out of the year, it is important to me to keep a kosher home.

            He even makes sure to keep Passover at work (he doesn't get any flavored syrups in his starbucks this week! and he eats the special potato chips I pay a fortune for instead of the free popcorn at his office).

            1. There's no doubt I'm in the same boat. I try to keep Passover and will cook only KforP meals for the week, but my husband has no problem eating bread and other things. As for the kids, I encourage the Passover tradition - it's only one week people - but my husband just tells the kids if they won't eat what I make, he'll take them to the diner. A few days, one son took matza to school for lunch, and my daughter took yogurt, but the other son refused to give up his peanut butter sandwiches on white bread. Yes, lots of hypocrisy, and a bit of frustration on my end, but fighting over food makes everything worse and I just can't deal. I'll pick my battles, eat my matza and count the days until the holiday ends.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jerseydiner

                Wow.... that post pretty much broke my heart. My daughter just came down with a mouth full of chocolate chip cake and said "it is delicious". Give it about 12 hours to "cure" for optimal yumminess...only make it on Pesach and maybe it will help.

                4 eggs, well beaten
                1 cups granulated sugar
                1 cup brown sugar
                1 Cup safflower oil
                ½ tsp. Salt
                1.5 cup matzo cake meal (sifting optional)
                1 bag semisweet chocolate chips

                Mix egg, sugars, salt amd oil. Then add cake meal and chocolate chip.
                Bake in 350 oven. I don't know how long. After 30 mintues I just kept checking.

              2. Hi,
                Maybe this answer is a bit off topic for chowhound purposes, but the whole thread somewhat is... or not. Reality is that just about every Jewish Holiday is a foodie dream come true. We all gather around the table, and one way or another each one has its customs and yes, its limitations. Think Chanukkah... Fried food and jelly donuts :). How about Succot with its produce and outdoor eating. Shavuot with its dairy customs... and the list goes on and on... Mock all this traditions and we just made the Massada sacrifice worthless. The Revolution was for religious freedom and against assimilation. Now we give our religios freedom spontaneously and assimilate willingly...I don't expect this answer to last long in the post :), but it is an answer to the question. Good luck

                3 Replies
                1. re: mrotmd

                  First off, you should be able to answer honestly without fearing the CH police:}

                  Second, you have an excellent point. Look- that's why I've been going to synagogue. I'm not religious and am not sure if I believe in "anything out there" no matter how hopeful I am. For me, it's about bringing a sense of peace to my family, giving happiness to my husband who I love more than anything in this entire world and knowing that in the near future (I hope!) I will be blessed with children, and I want to give them the knowledge of their culture and history so they at least have a choice... which I did not have. At the same time as I've already posted, I do have my limits and the feeling of being hypocritical sometimes slips in there. But you're absolutely right- food plays an immense role in our culture and background. Just looking at a seder plate, challah, honey and apples, or even matzo balls brings up so many memories and feelings. I'm thinking that next Passover I may just bite the bullet and be kosher for a week. :}

                  1. re: NicoleFriedman

                    I am not religious though I am very involved in secular Judaism and sometimes go to synagogue, Nicole. I like keeping Passover, it cultivates mindfulness , humility, a sense of community ( I think about all the Jew across the world , across time, doing so), discipline ,attention to how oppression occurs, and creativity. My advice is to give it a try and see how it works for you and your husband.

                    1. re: NicoleFriedman

                      I would not dwell on feelings of hypocrisy. Traditional Judaism is very much about following the letter of the law; the idea that doing so is unimportant next to the 'spirit of the law' is a very Christian idea. Observe what you can, and you are doing better, Judaically speaking, than if you very consistently and non-hypocritically observed nothing at all.