Have a Happy Whatever! Rachel Roderman

My mother is a Jew and my father a Christian and I, well… I receive a pastel basket full of Chocolate-covered Egg Matzah for Easter as a way to meet in the middle.

This is how it has always been in my house. We give up bread for Lent thanks to genetically pre-disposed gluteal size and also because matzoh is back on the shelves for Passover.  Around Christmas, we place our stocking hangers on the mantle spelling “JOY”, one for myself and the other two for my sisters. Depending on when Hanukkah rolls around, we either add or remove the “J”, sending “OY” to the world. We throw away the nitty gritty Pentecost and Shavuot details and throw an agreeably awesome Memorial Day BBQ instead. Half the time, WWJD stands for “What Would Jews Do” and the other half the “J’ obviously stands for Jay-Z. Then sometimes, when we’re with my Dad’s side of the family, we’re talking the JC not from ‘NSYNC. I am the Hannah Montana of religious affiliation. I get the best of both worlds.

“But,” you interrupt, “the main difference between Hannah Montana and her sassy doppelganger Miley Cyrus is a brunette wig and the voice of an angel.”

True. Being a brunette, I would need a blonde wig to truly get the best of both worlds. I have some red hairs, does that count?

“Is your dad a pop star named Billy Ray Cyrus?”

No, but he reminds me a lot of Ron Swanson.

“Hey, what religion is Hannah Montana, anyway?”

Stop getting so tied up in details! I’m trying to make a point! And I don’t know.

Where was I? Oh right. Living in the middle of the life venn diagram. I’m getting pretty close to turning those two circles that have the rest of the world at war into a giant circumference of love on all counts. I’m bicoastal, I wear Mets t-shirts to Dodger games, I dislike Coke and Pepsi equally and it doesn’t matter to me if we watch Parenthood or Modern Family because it’s pretty apparent they’re all brothers from another mother. Aren’t we all?

This duality isn’t anything new, of course. I am far from the only secular person on the planet. But when Christmas serendipitously falls within the eight nights of Hannukah and now Easter graces us over the week of Passover, I can’t help but think that the religious calendar gods might be listening to my yoga prayers. No more choosing which weekend to return home, no more missing home-cooked meals, no more settling for one or the other. Finally, the world has aligned. There is peace on Earth. We can have our holiday themed cakes and eat them it too! I just need to find a secular-inspired retail location selling plural purpose holiday cards.

Outside: “Have a Happy [Insert Holiday 1] and [Insert Holiday 2]…”

Inside: “…because we all matter and do this whole religion thing mostly for the food!”

That’d be a real game changer. Amen.

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  1. I`m in the middle too, when a preteen I didn’t like it that much I just wanted to go with the flow, you know take my comunion like everybody else or have my bat mitzbah. Well know I’m happy to be in the middle, I’ve recentlly been to Israel and got a chance to learn a lot about the jew culture, and really get in touch with half my origins (?) haha. Then I’ve been to Rome to not get the other half jelous lol.
    Anyway I as much as I like being in the middle i hate it when people don’t understand it, yes there’s a middle I can do seth cohen’s Christnukkah, and I don’t have to choose. As you and Hannah I get the best of both worlds!
    Jag Sameaj and Happy Easter!

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