Guess Who's Coming To Dinner: Accepting The Religious Grandchild
By RABBI ABRAHAM JACOBOWITZ
touch, of resentment. "I'm not a
good enough Jew for him." "I gave
my children and grandchildren a
good Jewish upbringing and now
am I going to have to get re-
educated by my grandchild?" Many
are concerned with the "Bubbie
and Zayde" image which they
sentimentally remember from their
memories of childhood admiration
for their own grandparents.
the understanding and cooperation
take the place of previous
resentment, bitterness and
disappointment. When grandparents
who rightfully question the behavior
of their grandchildren are given the
opportunity in manner of respect
and concern, problems for the most
part can be ironed out.
measure of honor, respect and
understanding that a grandchild is
obligated to give the people who
gave life to him via his parents.
At a later date, Bruce did join
his grandparents for a delicious
kosher supper prepared by
Grandma Faye, satisfying Bruce's
standards of kashrut. This
scrumptious supper left a lasting
good taste and memories which
Bruce, Grandma Faye and Grandpa
George will always remember.
As one approaches the autumn
of life and the reality of reaching the
upper middle age sets in, often it is
the offspring of your offspring that
bring thoughts of joy, nachas and
pleasure. Not always though.
Sometimes there are obstacles on
the road of grandparenthood. The
But again, there is no magic
dream of having the ideal
solution to all differences of
grandchild to be proud of gets
In most cases I find it to be
philosophy and practice, and if
shattered at times from unexpected
primarily a communication problem.
Bruce wants to maintain a good and
Rabbi Jacobowitz is director of
healthy relationship with his Bubbie
"Hi, Grandma, how are you
After meeting with parents and
Machon L'Torah, the Jewish
today?" The voice is of grandson
grandparents, allowing for an honest
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relay his convictions with the full
Bruce who just recently returned
exchange of feelings and emotions,
from a trip to the Holy Land.
"Wonderful," answers Grandma
Faye. "Nu, when are you coming
over for a delicious supper?" A
moment of silence. "Well, I am
David received a tree on Tu B'Shevat from his Grandfather Max in Israel. In the letter Max wrote that since they
coming over tomorrow evening to
couldn't be together in Israel this year he would plant a tree for David. But, David would have to find out where the
see you and Grandpa, but supper,
tree was planted! You too can find out where Max planted the Tu B'Shevat tree for his grandson. Follow the clues
just don't worry about it." "What's
given in the letter. It will lead you around the country of Israel and finally to where the tree was planted for David.
the matter? You got used to falafel
and don't like Grandma's cooking
anymore?" "No, no, that's not it. I
will explain what's going on when I
see you tomorrow."
The next evening, after quite a
Start at the modern airport
difficult introduction, Bruce
where most visitors land,
managed to reveal his "secret."
on an airstrip In Israel
not In the desert sand.
After spending six months in Israel,
he had discovered a new world of
Travel In the direction
Jewish life. Bruce had spent a
Jews face when they pray,
number of weekends with religious
It's the capital of Israel
where you will first stay.
families and before he knew it, he
felt very comfortable with the unique
Continue on your travels
atmosphere of Shabbat, the warmth,
to the lowest point around,
the family, the intriguing discussions
don't drink the salty water
of Jewish history and destiny
where not a living thing is found.
around the Shabbat table and
Pass Herod's famous fortress
eventually attending a yeshiva in
on a mountain top it stands,
Jerusalem for the next three
Jewish Zealots fought and died there
not to fall In Roman hands.
He then made up his mind to
Go south through the desert
lead a traditional religious Jewish
to a 3,000 year old port,
life style which will include keeping
the city now has snorkeling
kosher, Shabbat, wearing a
and your favorite beach resort.
yarmulka and tzitzit.
Back up through the country
How do Grandma and Grandpa
to a town by the sea,
accept Bruce's new lifestyle? Well, it
the industrial center of Israel
differs from Bruce to Bruce (or Gail,
and the second largest city.
Eric or Stephanie) and from one set
of grandparents to another.
going north all the way,
In my experience, I have seen
to a city on Mt. Carmel
the spectrum of grandparents'
looks like San Francisco Bay!
reaction to the now not-so-
uncommon dilemma of the religious
The city of Tiberias
Is west of where you've come
generation gap. In general, I believe
This lake of sparkling waters
that it depends a lot on the pre-
Is where swimming can be fun.
conceived notions, conception and
misconception of the individuals
Put all the letters together
unscramble each and every clue,
to find the hidden place
At times it is the fear of "I'm
where the tree is planted for you!
losing my grandchild," as if from
this point on there is a
(g• 7 8 ?
disconnection of relationship due to
I Z 3 4 1 5
the difference of life style. At other
times, it is the feeling of distance
Puzzle Answers on Page L-10
and estrangement mixed with a
touch, or a little more than just a
Grandfather's Tu B'Shevat 'Wee For David
FRIDAY, JANUARY 18, 1991