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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Father's Day Unobserved

My son came home from school on Friday not knowing that today was Father's Day. I find that interesting. His Rebbe and teacher of last year obviously felt it necessary to point out that "every day is Mother's Day", and thus, evidently, Mother's Day wasn't really a day to single out, but his teachers this year chose to recognize the day as a harmless if fake holiday, and even helped the class make a project as a token of appreciation for their hard-working mothers.

This morning, however, when I told my kids to say "Happy Father's Day" as their father returned from Shul, my son looked at me blankly. (My daughter was not as confused as her brother. Obviously, as Ultra-Orthodox as my daughter's school may be, they still keep up with the non-Jewish holidays). Fascinating. So in the scope of things, am I to assume that if one absolutely must observe a "goyische" holiday, only mothers are deserving of it - fathers need not apply for the homemade cards and coffee mugs.

Good to know.

Happy Father's day to all anyhow.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, its better than my son's response this morning when my wife told him (before I had to drive him to yeshiva) to wish me happy father's day to which he replied why should I. Glad all that tuition $ is going for such fine chinuch.

9:20 AM  
Blogger Jak Black said...

Hardly surprising. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1930859619/ref=pd_sim_b_5/104-3058093-1557520?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance&n=283155

It trickles down to us, too. And I'm not saying, by the way, that Mother's Day is worth much either, as you pointed out. But if we're going to be observing one...

9:26 AM  
Blogger Looking Forward said...

i'd forgotten it was fathers day... thanks for reminding me OM.

9:42 AM  
Blogger Orthonomics said...

I bought my husband a gift and forgot about it this morning, until my father said he needed to call his father.

10:12 AM  
Blogger Somewhat Anonymous said...


My parents never really gave much thought or emphasis to either "holiday", and its not like they are or were super-extra-ultra-orthodox either.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Orthonomics said...

There is definitely something to marking a day. It reminds us to give hakarat hatov, even though "every day is [Thanksgiving, Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc]."

While I don't know that we need to put such an emphasis on days outside or our many Chagim, imagine if we took the attitude that "everyday is a day for [teshuvah, remembering the destruction of the Temple, etc]." While we are supposed to do teshuvah and remember the destruction all the time, and such actions are built into the tefillah, days like Yom Kippur and Tisha B'Av give us the kick in the pants that we need at the right time.

I can't imagine that for the mitzvah of kibud Av V'Em that a kick in the pants (or skirt) is a bad thing. So, thank you to all the fathers out there that are doing a great job as husbands and fathers.

2:47 PM  
Blogger Looking Forward said...

i heard from one of my rebbies in school that if your not honoring your perents at all durring the year you shouldn't celebrate mothers or fathers day at all because all your doing is mocking them, if however you are honoring them all the time, you can't be buying your mother a dozen carnations everyday so you can do it on mothers day, (and similarly for fathers day) basicaly it's an excuse to go way beyond the norm just to make sure they know.

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's nothing wrong with Jews in America celebrating holidays that are a part of Americana -- days like July 4, Memorial Day, even Thanksgiving (despite the qualms of some that it supposedly "imitates" a Christian religious feast, its origins really have little or nothing to do with the Pilgrims -- it was ordered by President Abe Lincoln as a bit of wartime Union homefront propaganda during the Civil War to buck up sagging civilian morale at a time when the war seemed to be dragging bloodily and uselessly on with no end in sight).

Mothers Day and Fathers Day are harmless enough, and who could honor with the concept of kibbud av v'em -- although they are basically phony holidays dreamed up and promoted by the greeting card industry, department stores, and, in the case of Mothers' Day, florists, the candy industry, etc.

Of course, no one should celebrate in any form (even very secular) Xmas, Easter, Valentines Day or Halloween, all of which have decided Christian (and, in the case of the latter, paganistic/witchcraft) religious overtones.

3:34 PM  
Blogger Looking Forward said...

correction, halloween is also christian. it has less than nothing to do with paganism. (note that it's all based off all saints day and it's conception of evil is entirely christian toboot.)

3:41 PM  
Blogger nikki said...

i agree with anon 3:34. i don't understand this resistance to celebrating, or even acknowledging american holidays. recognizing the day as something a bit out of the ordinary does not take away from who we are.

3:42 PM  
Blogger Somewhat Anonymous said...

I don't think its a big deal either way - its not like the school came out against Father's Day, they just didn't bother mentioning it. If parents feel its a significant day, they are more than capable of telling their kids to celebrate it. Its not like the kids will be getting mixed messages.

3:48 PM  
Blogger Orthonomics said...

Halfnutcase--If I read you correctly, your Rav said to take a day to be "frummer" and actually do something that you should be doing all along (honoring your parents) is mocking them????

I'd call the celebration a step in the right direction. Who knows, maybe you will be inspired and end up giving more honor the next day and the next day, etc.

Would the Rabbi call the fact that so many American Jews come to synagogues throughout the United States for Yom Kippur (and even fast despite their lack of observance) a mockery of Hashem, or would he hope and pray that they will be inspired to do more during the year?

One would hope that he would wish for some inspiration for them.

So, while there may be no significance to a holiday created by Hallmark, I see no reason to discourage someone who doesn't give proper honor to their parents but who will go out of their way to make their mother or father breakfast!

6:21 PM  
Blogger Looking Forward said...

i think he ment thinking that doing it this one day would exempt you for the entire year...

i was raised to generaly believe in mothers day and fathers day.

7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since when is honoring your mother and father 'goyishe' ?

Nothing wrong with singling out a day for giving extra love, hugs and thanks.

9:32 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Ezer K'negdo said...

Since when is honoring your mother and father 'goyishe' ?

You might not have noticed the heavy dose of sarcasm in my post. Trust me, this post is only a commentary on how my kids' schools handle these holidays.

10:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont know how people can send their kids to schools where they know they are going to turn out to be Chunyuks...doesnt it freighten you as parents? The gall to not wish a happy fathers day....scary stuff.

10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As usual, SephardiLady has a perfect take on all this. Particularly in an era in which many fathers feel somewhat marginalized -- valued for little more than their paychecks -- a day when Dad, Abba, or Tattie is honored with his favorite dinner and receive a double-dose of appreciation is not a bad thing.

Of course, the real question is why my daughters' Bais Yaakov mentions and makes an appropriate craft for Mother's Day, but doesn't say a word about Father's Day. I chalk it up to the radical feminist agenda of BY, lol!

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just for the record: in TAG my third grader and kindergartener came home with Father's Day cards. But the fact is that Mother's Day remains more celebrated -- as indicated by flower sales and restaurant reservations on that day. We deserve more because we usually do carpool duty ;-)

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my son who goes to nursery in yeshiva k'tana came home friday with a beautiful card for fathers day which was made as that weeks project, fathers day was also mentioned in that weeks shabbos sheet !!!

7:27 PM  
Blogger Goy Guy said...

"halloween is also christian. it has less than nothing to do with paganism. (note that it's all based off all saints day and it's conception of evil is entirely christian to boot"

Take it from the most 'goyishe' guy here ;-)

New Years Day is NOT a Christian holiday.

Rev. King's birthday is not a Christian holiday. (although rumor has it he was a Christian)

Presidents Day is NOT a Christian holiday

Mothers Day is NOT a Christian holiday

Memorial Day is NOT Christian holiday.

Fathers Day is NOT a Christian Holiday

Independence Day is NOT a Christian Holiday.

Labor Day is NOT a Christian holiday

Halloween is DEFINITLY NOT a Christian holiday.

Veterans Day is NOT a Christian Holiday

Thanksgiving is NOT a Christian holiday.

Feb 14 is St Valentine's day. It is not a Christian "holiday". Every day is St Somebody Day on the Catholic calender.The secular "traditions" of Valentine's Day have NOTHING to do with Christianity.

There are only around eight (it changes) days of the year that don't fall on Sunday when Catholics are obligated to attend Mass.

The only one that coincides with any secular holiday is on Jan. 1st. That Holy Day is NOT called "New Years Day". It just falls on New Years Day.

The only one that is ALSO a national holiday is Christmas.

Are we clear on this? ;-)

If you have some story about how so many centuries ago this or that was the case, please keep in mind that WE DON'T CARE ;-) If Christians don't think it's a Christian holiday TODAY, rest assured that non-Christians don't have to think it's a Christian holiday. So if you would like to buy a flag and hang it out in front of your house on Independence Day, rest assured that no one will think you switched teams.

Just for the record, today is Saint Aloysius Gonzaga day, whoever that was :-)

10:22 PM  

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