Last night, we attended a family get together at the mall thrown by the shul we plan on joining (it's a higher level of observance than the one where we currently belong). Our big kids go to Sunday School there, so we already knew most of the families. My girls are great friends with a set of sisters who are 5.5 and 7. Their family has belonged to that synagogue for generations. I love the family. They're so sweet.
After we did Havdallah (the sun was long gone, so Shabbat was technically already over before we got there), I bought bottles of water for the kids. Girl1 examined her label closely and announced that her water was kosher.
The second-grader was with us as we walked out. She asked me, "What's kosher?" Wa wa WHAT? I know they don't keep kosher, but how on earth does the child--the JEWISH child who belongs to the more observant synagogue; whose family has belonged there forever not know what kosher is?
I was just floored. I think I said something like, "It means a rabbi says it's okay." And she asked, "Well what does that mean?" I told her, "It means we can eat it." Yeah, my explanation leaves much to be desired, but I was caught completely off guard.
On the drive home, I realized that the other sister had shared her candy with my girls. I normally don't let them have candy, but I figured this was a special event, so I'd let them have some. Since we were there with fellow Yids, I let my guard down. It was only then that I realized if that family shared them, there's a good chance the candy wasn't kosher.
Argh! I let my guard down with that group. I felt like it was one place where I didn't have to worry about some of the issues that concern me in the big big world.
Argh! Sometimes, I really feel like we just can't find our place in the world. I don't need the nirvana of synagogues. I just need somewhere where we can fit in, relax, put our feet up, saying a blessing together, and not have to worry that our snacks may contain pig corpse.