A Seperate Peace

Havdalah is Hebrew for "Seperation". It is also the ceremony that marks the end of Shabbat and separates it from the rest of the week. Much of Judaism is about being seperate and different. It is not wrong or bad to be different all the time.

We have marked time Jewishly as much as possible since Froggy's arrival. We want her to celebrate her Judaism and see her difference as gifts rather than burdens. Yet as she got older I worried more and more about how different she would feel and how hard it would be for her. So I sought out more Jewish friends and tried to make her not feel different more than necessary and in doing so I forgot the specialness of being separate.

Swim Team provided me with an unexpected moral dilemma and a chance to grow. When I signed Froggy up for swimming I could not believe how lucky I was that none of the practices were on Shabbat once school let out. I was amazed that they would choose to have a Sunday night practice rather than anything on Saturday. Silly me I did not question why. It turns out the reason for the practice schedule is that all the meets are on Saturdays.

After much debate and some surprisingly vehement opinons from my husband, we have decided that for this summer at least she will not compete. We will towards the end of the season attend one of the meets as spectators and cheer on her friends.

One of Froggy's teammates questioned her at departure on Thursday when Froggy gave the parting remark "See you on Monday." as to why she would not be at the meet. Froggy with enthusiam and pride replied "It's Shabbat" With that attitude from her I could not bring myself to confuse her with even the suggestion that she might want to compete.

Froggy has joy in the separation and distinctness of her identity and I am reveling in that joy.


  1. I literally have tears streaming down my cheeks....I am beaming with pride and she's not even my little Froggy...Good job, Mama...be proud...be VERY proud!!!!

  2. Good choice. I think it's important for her to know that she is different and sometimes it also means certain sacrifices. I am still impressed with her swimming abilities.


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