I will never forget that our really serious, really smart, really devout rabbi came to our class one day and talked with us about the idea of God. The part I'll never forget was when he said, "It's OK if you don't believe in God. Sometimes I don't, either." Since about ten years later I came to identify as an atheist Jew, I think that statement rang in the halls of my consciousness for years afterwards.
As the words of Eicha echo in my ears and the tune gets stuck in my head, I think about how next summer we will still be lamenting same historical tragedies. The crusades and the inquisition and the Holocaust and the siege of Jerusalem all still will have happened. But additional tragedies, of children going to bed and waking up and going to bed again still hungry, of brains not being fed by education, and of bodies forced to bear children they do not want or cannot take care of, are still ahead of us.
When other people tell me about what their partner’s do to raise their babies, I want to suggest they look into a rebate program, as Charles is so clearly kicking their butts. At our birth class reunion parents were talking about how the fathers sometimes “help out” or “let the moms sleep in.” The frames people were using were that childrearing was this thing moms did, and sometimes the dads heroically stepped in to do a small amount for their wives’ projects. The dads might change a diaper!
I told my husband that if we're blessed to become pregnant again, I don't want to start discussing names until the day before the bris or simchat bat— perhaps we'll make that an added superstition that we throw into the barrel of Jewish pregnancy customs.
Reposted with permission from InterfaithFamily.
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Jewish Women's Archive. " Amanda Koppelman-Milstein ." (Viewed on April 27, 2017) <https://jwa.org/blog/author/amanda-koppelman-milstein>.