Religion & Beliefs

Chometz in the Intermarried Home

I've had a lot of experience with naviagating holidays and intermarriage. First as a kid, and then, more recently, as a wife and mother.  It's never a perfect situation, but it can be interesting. It can lead to meaningful dialogue … Read More

By / April 4, 2007

I've had a lot of experience with naviagating holidays and intermarriage. First as a kid, and then, more recently, as a wife and mother.  It's never a perfect situation, but it can be interesting. It can lead to meaningful dialogue and new traditions… and the non-Jewish members of my family don't (as a rule) get in the way of my own Jewish practice.  Typically, they're supportive and loving.

Of course, I've had to make concessions.  Over the years I've come to terms with the fact that my husband (however supportive he may be) will never offer to fast for Yom Kippur himself .  He'll never want to go to services with me every week.  But to be honest, most of the Jewish boys I know feel the same… and as a rule, our arrangement works okay, so long as hubby's okay with raising Jewish kids, paying suynagoge dues, and never ever having bacon on the breakfast table.

But then comes Passover. 

Every year, I struggle at Passover.

Because it's HARD to give up all chometz.  Especially for a carb-loving man like my husband.  He's not a soup and salad kind of fellow. He's a cereal-for-breakfast guy, a big-ass-sub-for-lunch guy.   And eight days is a long time to go hungry.

It's not like he doesn't like Passover. He likes the Seder a lot, as well as the fruit slices, the merengues and macaroons.  But as he said yesterday, "You know how important the sandwich is to my daily survival…"

Though suddenly here is is, suddenly living in a house with no bread.  And let me tell you… if you didn't grow up with matzoh, it loses its charm after the first day.

So what to do?

In past years, I've made no effort to clear out the chometz. I've just left things as they were, and eaten around the bread myself.  This year, (I think because I want my son to see how it's supposed to be done) I really cleaned the house out, and now my husband is starving. 

He's not complaining much, but I feel bad.  Because this isn't his culture, his faith.  And he's so good about all my Jewish stuff.

So now I'm thinking that we need some kind of compromise. I've been considering making him a special "Daddy's chometz" box in the freezer. So that I won't have to see it, and the kids won't be able to get to it, but hubby can still nuke himself a roll and make a sandwich when he wants.  Maybe I'll paint on the side, "property of Hubby Jones (not his real name)" and we can say it belongs to him, and not me (though of course legally his chometz is my chometz).

That's the best I've been able to come up with. So far.  The "Daddy's Chometz" freezer box.  A new invention.

But I think I can do better, and I'm wondering if any of you have ideas on this matter. How to deal with the intermarried chometz?  I'm wondering (even for those of you not intermarried) if roommate situations have provided creative solutions to co-mingling with the Christians?

I could use some help…