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Sunday, May 08, 2005

Mother's Day Misgivings

I love how every year, my sons come home from their Yeshiva the Friday before Mother's Day, telling me that "every day is Mother's Day". I know that their teachers and rebbes are teaching them that because Mother's Day is not a Jewish holiday in origin. And I'm okay with that concept, because at least it's consistent with the school policy of giving classes on Thanksgiving, New Years, Christmas, etc. The only thing that really gets my goat is, why do they only tell my kids that every day is Mother's Day once a year?


Blogger and so it shall be... said...

now that's a brilliant observation. I plan to add it to my repertoire of frothy hatred for all things mainstream about yeshiva education.

one note: in 6th grade, I was expelled from yeshiva for lighting fires on the roof of the building. The principal let me return, but two of his the many probationary stipulations I was requird to fulfill was: 1) kiss my mother every day when I arrived home from school 2) tell my mother how delicious dinner was every night

10:53 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Well, my kid's principal is a cool guy, but not THAT cool. Here's a question: When you and Amshi were going off on all your nightmare experiences in school, why no stories about the good guys?
And BTW, did his stipulations make you appreciate your mother more, or resent her?

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK- so I know that mother's day is a hallmark holiday... but you know what? It's not so bad to be treated like a queen one day of the year!
I love homemade cards and dinner out and permission not to feel guilty about not doing this or that.

Maybe it's all a fake but I don't care. I work hard all year, I deserve it.

7:51 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Shifra, I totally agree with you! I wish my kids school wouldn't dismiss the holiday out of hand on the basis of it's being "goyish". I DO deserve the special treatment! And trust me, I demanded it from OrthoDad and OrthoKids anyway!

8:39 PM  
Blogger and so it shall be... said...

The principal of my elementary school was a very innovative educator. But he was a tough son of a bitch to the students. Still, while I hated him in elementary school, I changed my feelings toward him when I was older and even asked him to be my mesader kedushin. He accepted and though well into his 80s is very happy to see me when we meet.

The problem with my yeshiva was that I was a very poor student, but not trouble enough to warrant significant attention. The result was an unusual situation where I was allowed to float year to year with no one taking the time to notice that I could barely read a line of Chumash when i graduated HS.

I still wonder why my parents allowed this and every time it comers up my mother gets all defensive and teary so I just drop it. Indidentally, beign ignored by rebbeim doesn't mean they were particularly kind while doing so.

8:54 PM  
Blogger and so it shall be... said...

By the way, it made me appreciate and remeber to express my appreciation to my mom and other women in my life until this day.

8:56 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Got your answer after I posted mine. Then he really did you (and the women in your life) a favor. Trust me.

9:03 PM  
Blogger Vilda Chaya said...

Actually mother's day isn't a Hallmark holiday, it is an anti-war holiday. It was invented by feminist and pacifist, Julia Ward Howe, who imagined it as a day for women to protest war and stand up as mothers, regardless of nationality, because war takes the children of mothers.

For more on Julia Ward Howe:

12:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in a more UO environment and never celebrated Mothers Day. Now every year my wife gives me a hard time because I forget all about it. Yet another thing to blame those UO's for ! Or maybe Hallmark.

2:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interestingly, after years of enduring the "Every Day is Mother's Day" speech, my UO 9th grade Rebbe gave a speech saying, Yes every day is Mother's Day, but if it makes your mother feel good, why not make this one a little special. The only rational thing the man said in the 10 months that I was in his class.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Air Time said...

Not that I ever like defending yeshiva education, but when else would you like them to come home saying mother's day is every day?

They learn different things throughout the school year based on the calendar. In the fall they learn about Rosh HaShana and the holidays of that season. They learn about Purim in March and Pesach in April. Mother's Day comes up in May, so they learn it now, and possibly when the Parsha has the mitzva of respecting parents.

9:36 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Air Time, I actually usually the one defending Yeshiva education. But I would love it if they wouldn't just pay lip service to Mother's Day by explaining its irrelevance. Pick another day to be Mother's Day and send home those homemade gifts that we used to make back in the day. Have a program that rewards the kids for Derech Eretz to their parents instead of(or in addition to) learning mishnayos over the weekend. As a mother, this one just gets me. So shoot me.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Air Time said...

I didn't realize from your post that your kids didn't bring anything home from school.

What gardes are they in?

My third grader didn't bring anything home for mother's day (he didn't bring anything home for Pesach either, but that is a whole different problem), but my kindergarten student brought home lots of projects and a picture frame with his picture in it as a gift.

10:19 AM  
Blogger Air Time said...

chalk it up to schools doing dumb things to make an imaginary point.

3:15 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Well, at least you agree that MY point isn't imaginary!

4:14 PM  
Blogger Air Time said...

I think you have a valid complaint against the school only recognizing that mothers day is every day while they are ignoring mother's day.

But I don't think they should have children celebrate mothers at a different time of year just to prove that every day is mothers day with the exception of mother's day.

4:43 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Of course they shouldn't! But why try so hard to prove that Mother's Day isn't a holiday, and end up cheating Mom's everywhere out of a little appreciation? Give us some crumbs, people!

4:49 PM  
Blogger Just Passing Through said...

I also grew up in a UO school and never had mother's day mentioned or taught. Then again, maybe that's cuz I was in Canada -do they even have mother's day? Even if they do, it wouldn't have been taught.

While I don't go nuts about it, I've adopted the day for my own reasons. First, my wife deserves it. There's nothing like having me and the kids plotting how to surprise her with her card (with her knowing all the time what we're doing, of course). If nothing else, I think it's great chinuch for the kids.

Then there's me. I'm not usually once who expresses my feelings. This day gives me the opportunity to buy a card and express my thanks for all the hard work. I know I can do it year-round, but if not for the one designated day, who knows if I would?


5:11 PM  
Blogger and so it shall be... said...

You heartless Candian...Blame Canada. Blame Canada!

5:22 PM  
Blogger Just Passing Through said...

ahhh, but we have 15 extra days to do our taxes. And MolsonXXX.

8:49 PM  
Blogger Noam S said...

Hmmmm. a day to emphasize kavod aim. Guess it has to be treif because it doesn't have a siman in shulchan aruch. Why cant people accept that good ideas dont always have to come from a gadol hador? Just like a day to say thanks to God, that must be totally assur and chas v'shalom dont eat the turkey, let only cut it(gratuitous reference to the only good line in one of the worst movies it has been my misfortune to live through).

4:49 PM  
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2:49 AM  

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