Insights Into Teens: Episode 12 Interfaith Holidays of Spring

This week we tackle the difficult task of navigating the Spring holidays in an interfaith family. We look at what it means to be interfaith, what the holidays are that we honor and how we honor those. To help us with this complicated topic we have a very special guest host joining us to offer an expert opinion on the holiday traditions and significance.

Insights Into Teens

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1:0:02Insightful pocket by informative podcast network.

Speaker 2:0:26Welcome to insights into teens, a podcast series, exploring the issues and challenges of today’s youth, your hosts or Joseph and Madison, Waylon, a father and daughter team making their way through the challenges,

Speaker 3:0:41the teenage years.

Speaker 4:0:51Welcome to insights into teens. This is episode 12, inner faith, holidays of spring. I’m your host, Joseph Waylon and my lovely and talented cohost Madison Waylon. Hi everyone. How are you doing today, Madison? Yeah, I’m pretty good. So today is our holiday spring holiday special. And joining us today is uh, a special guest host with us, um, mommy, otherwise known as Michelle Wayland. Hello Michel. How are you today? I’m fine. How are you? Wonderful. I love the ears. I figured I’d be the festive holiday person very much in line with the, the holiday spirit here. So let’s run down real quick what we’re going to talk about today. So we are going to talk about what an interfaith marriage is, an interfaith family. Uh, then we’ll talk about some religion and interfaith statistics. Then we’ll go on and talk about the holidays themselves. We’ll talk about what Passover is from a high level standpoint. We won’t go into a lot of the details. We’ll talk about what Easter is and then we’ll discuss how we as an interfaith family celebrate the holidays. So let’s get right into it.

Speaker 5:2:24Okay.

Speaker 4:2:27So an interfaith marriage is defined as traditionally, it’s also called a mixed marriage, is defined as a marriage between spouses professing different religions. Although interfaith marriages are most often contracted as civil marriages. In some instances they may be contracted as religious marriage. This depends on religious prohibitions against the marriage by the religion, by one or both spouses based on religious doctrine or tradition. So basically we are talking about here in an interfaith marriage is one parent is one religion in this case, uh, Jewish mommy is Jewish. Um, and the other parent is a different religion, which would be me. Um, I’m not really sure if I was raised Christian, but I don’t really know well what I am at this point in time. So that’s what we’re talking about from an interfaith standpoint. So as a result of that, um, you have different traditions, different holidays that you celebrate. Both religions have different holidays. Yeah. Um, so when we come to spring, what two holidays do we always celebrate Easter and Passover? Which one do you like more? Um, I can’t as a loaded question. Which parent do you love? Wow, nice one. We don’t, we don’t wanna we don’t want to put the child under that much pressure. So, but, um, Michelle, you, you tell me what’s it like being in an interfaith marriage at this point in time?

Speaker 6:4:13Well, it, it has its challenges obviously from, um, you know, not wanting to exclude certain traditions or, or things you know, from one holiday versus the other. You know, you don’t want to make one out to seem better than another. It’s not a competition. Um, unlike the fact that you like competition, but only if you’re waiting. Okay. I thought that diet will actually go on and mention that mommy beat him to it. Um, awesome. So it, it’s, it’s different. Obviously it’s different than what I grew up with because I grew up in a Jewish household that you, no, we didn’t deal with, you know, having to, to deal with Easter or Christmas. Um, you know, when, when I was growing up. So it’s very different than, you know, then what I went through. So it’s, but I think we’ve made it work. Um, I think in a lot of respects we don’t really deal with the more religious aspects of the Christian holidays. Right. We’ll get in a little bit more detail about that when we get down to that. Right. So, you know, whereas with the Jewish traditions, I’ve tried to bring in more of of that, but obviously, you know, still trying to keep it where you know, everybody, everybody’s interested. Right. And knowing about it,

Speaker 4:5:49Madison, what’s, how do you like, you know, having both sides of the corners that may be celebrating both, both sets of holidays?

Speaker 7:5:59Well, I definitely enjoy it because I get to have a taste of two different religions with the different holidays and the different way they do things. It’s also, it’s also interesting when people sometimes ask me what’s it like, um, growing up in a Jewish and Christian household. And I always tell him, it’s nice you get to experience two different holidays from two different religions with two different aspects. And I just enjoy it. I liked the coaches. We do and I just overall like both cultures, religions and I’m glad I can be a part of it.

Speaker 4:6:38Now do you have a lot of kids at school that are in a similar situation with dual faith? Uh, households?

Speaker 7:6:45Well, I don’t really know. Um, I, I don’t really add, we don’t really talk about that much. All I really know is that I’m pretty much the only other, the only Jewish person in my class, but my tea, one of my teachers isn’t, is um, actually Christian, but her husband’s Jewish and they have kids so they celebrate Jewish and Christian holidays. So I guess that’s the best I can relate.

Speaker 4:7:16Oh, okay. Well that’s Kinda cool.

Speaker 5:7:18[inaudible] Jackson.

Speaker 4:7:26So the, um, and doing my research for this podcast, there was a couple of interesting statistics that I came across that was related to both religion and interfaith. Um, one of the things that I saw that I thought was very interesting was based on a pole from the Pew research form a 70.6% of Americans are of some denomination of Christian belief. Um, 22% of Americans are unaffiliated and only 1.9% of Americans were of Jewish faith. Um, but if you look at those numbers and how a sideways those numbers really aren’t how unbalanced they are. The interesting thing, the interesting takeaway that I got from that was 42% of marriages in the u s are interfaith marriages and kids in an interfaith marriage are twice as likely they’d be brought up with the mother’s religion. Um, and 25% of married couples who began as an interfaith couple become a same faith Koppel. So my question on that is to you, Michelle, do you, first of all, what’s your reaction to those numbers? Well, I never heard of Pew Forum, so I didn’t get to vote.

Speaker 8:8:53So I think, I think it’s skewed. Um,

Speaker 6:8:56I, I definitely could see that a good portion of the marriages are our interfaith, um, in, in terms of, you know, between Christian and maybe not affiliated with, with anything. I’m not saying that, you know, half of the marriages, you know, have a, a Jewish partner. Right. Um, but I, I do see, you know, in, in the Jewish religion, if you are of an interfaith coupling, um, whatever the mother is, that’s what the, the children right. Technically are. Um, you know, so in, in our case, Madison, you know, is Jewish because I’m, I’m Jewish. Right? Um, whereas my, my one cousin, um, where his mother wasn’t Jewish, but he was brought up as Jewish and later on my aunt did convert to Judaism. She was, you know, she was raised Catholic and, and when, you know, she gave birth, she was still Catholic, but yet they chose to raise my cousin as Jewish. And then, you know, later on, like I said, she, she did convert. Right. Now

Speaker 4:10:19do you know, are you aware of or associated with a lot of interfaith couples?

Speaker 6:10:24Actually, not really that much anymore. Um, you know, most of the people that live, you know, down in, in our neck of the woods, um, you know, I’m, I’m sort of the token Jewish friend.

Speaker 4:10:39Well, I will say that in the research itself, the 42% could possibly be

Speaker 5:10:46mmm.

Speaker 4:10:48Inter denominational Christians too. Okay.

Speaker 6:10:51I can see that just like a baptist and write a Lutheran, you know, that that could definitely be as well. Um, you know, but a lot of my Jewish friends from high school, I would say a good portion of them did, you know, marry someone that was Jewish and there’s probably a handful that didn’t, you know, so it’s, you know, I don’t know if it would, it would be half, but it could certainly be that, you know, across, you know, across the board. Right.

Speaker 4:11:22So Madison, a question for you.

Speaker 5:11:24MMM.

Speaker 4:11:26Does those interfaith,

Speaker 5:11:29okay.

Speaker 4:11:29Families, marriages, does that, does that hold a significance for you at all? Oh, what do you mean by that? Well, I’m trying to try to figure out if, you know, when you decide at some point in time in the future you want to get married, how big of a factor will religion of your partner play into that? Well, I wouldn’t be nice if I could marry someone from a different religion so that

Speaker 7:11:54my child will be able to experience more, um, more than one religion and their cultures. So I would liked for that to happen. I’d also like to, um, try and see what it would be like to be married to someone from another religion and see how, and you know, are you guys have done it? I want to maybe even try it myself.

Speaker 4:12:24So you think it’s been an enriching experience for you? Yup. That’s very cool. So let’s move on to what the holidays are.

Speaker 5:12:39Okay.

Speaker 4:12:41So we have a definition of Passover here. Um, which is kind of a layman’s explanation of it. I don’t think I’m qualified to read this or go into details. Uh, so I’ll turn this portion of the show over to Michelle.

Speaker 6:13:02Well, I thank you as the token Jew. Thanks. I appreciate it.

Speaker 4:13:06You’re, you’re a subject matter expert. So I brought you in for this.

Speaker 6:13:09Thanks. I appreciate it. So it’s an, uh, the eight day festival of Passover is celebrated in the early spring, um, Passover or pace law as it is in Hebrew, uh, commemorates the impact, the emancipation of the Israel lights from save slaverly slavery in ancient Egypt, uh, pays off is observed by avoiding leavened and, uh, 11 bread. Um, there is a meal that is usually done the first or second night called the Seder, which includes four cups of wine eating Motsa bitter herbs and retelling the story of the exodus from Egypt. In Hebrew, it’s known as pay sock, which means to pass over because God passed over Jewish homes when killing the Egyptian firstborns on the very first Passover eve, which was one of the 10 plugs.

Speaker 7:14:11Um, actually I learned that it wasn’t God. It was actually

Speaker 6:14:15the angel of death. Yes, it was the angel of death. Daddy not, not. Dot.

Speaker 4:14:21Okay. That’s what the website, I didn’t know God had someone doing his dirty deeds.

Speaker 6:14:27The world, the 10 plagues of God. Right. God did present the Egyptians with the 10 plagues when he wanted Pharaoh to let his people go.

Speaker 4:14:39And can you name those 10 plagues?

Speaker 6:14:43Blood frogs.

Speaker 4:14:48Come on. Thank you, ma’am.

Speaker 6:14:51I didn’t it

Speaker 4:14:56well, maybe oils. Well, you had, um, flies, hail, hail. Trump was in there somewhere. It wasn’t me. No. Okay. That’d be funny though. So, so the 10 plagues and the last of the 10 was killing of the first born. And that was one that Pharaoh, because Pharaoh was, had declared the firstborn of all the Israelites were ready to be killed. Right. And God, what God pull a head fake on them. Note said, okay, if that’s what you want, that’s okay, but we’re going to give the Jews to get out of jail free pass here with the blood on the, yeah, put some lamb’s blood over your door and the angel of death will pass over. Okay. So that’s probably why, um, passed over. His name does have this, right? So that’s where we get the name for Passover. So when we celebrate Passover, what are we actually celebrating? Madison? Actually,

Speaker 6:16:04we’re celebrating the equinox.

Speaker 4:16:10Matthew Equinox know, when we celebrate Passover, we’re celebrating the exodus of a pharaoh, freeing the Jews because he’s tired of being tormented by all these plagues. Um, so that’s really, you’re not really celebrating the death of the first borns. No, that’s not what I was,

Speaker 6:16:31right? We, we don’t, we don’t celebrate their demise. We celebrate our victory to become free.

Speaker 4:16:41Well, that’s the important thing to emphasize is you’re celebrating the freedom of the Israel lights, not the, the suffering of the Egyptian people. So in a nutshell, that’s what Passover is. So Easter, you know, being the quats I Christian here, all you Easter is a Christian holiday that celebrates the belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In the New Testament of the Bible, the event is said to have occurred three days after Jesus was crucified by the Romans and died. And roughly 38 d the holiday concludes the passion of the Christ, a series of events and holidays that begin with Lynne, a 40 day period of fasting, prayer and sacrifice and ends with holy week, which includes holy Thursday, the celebration of Jesus’s last supper, which happened to be a Seder, um, and had a and his 12 apostles, Good Friday on which Jesus was crucified. And Easter Sunday is when he was resurrected. Although holiday, although a holiday of high religious significance in the Christian faith, many traditions associate with Easter as many traditions associated with Easter date back to pre Christian Pagan Times. So

Speaker 5:18:12mmm.

Speaker 4:18:13Easter itself is supposed to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. The entire Christian religion is based on the premise that Jesus suffered for all of man’s sins, died on the cross, and was resurrected by God to go up in the having to ascend to heaven. Um, the interesting thing that I found in doing my research for this is that there’s really no mandate for Easter in the Bible anywhere. Um, Jesus never said it should be observed. There was no, um, holy passages that say it should be observed. Uh, whereas with Passover it’s mentioned and probably a dozen times that, that that should be remembered, you know, from holy scripture. So Easter really only became a Christian holiday at the council of Nicea back in the early 380 days. Um, and a lot of people, you know, being the, um, no pun intended, devil’s advocate, I’m the type of person who always thinks the worst of, of people and really what the, what Easter turned out to be was another attempt at, um, the Catholic church trying to usurp pagan traditions. So, but nowadays we have, if you, you know, obviously we have our, our Easter bunny ears and we have our eggs and stuff like that. So, um, we don’t really celebrate it from the, the religious side of things. So let’s talk briefly about how we actually celebrated ourselves.

Speaker 5:20:00Yeah.

Speaker 4:20:03So for this, I’ll go back to Michelle. So Michelle Haldol, we as a family celebrate Passover.

Speaker 6:20:12Well, usually, depending on the time of year, we usually try and do a seder. Um, unfortunately when Passover kind of starts, you know, during the week it, it kind of makes it difficult to, to do a full traditional seder. Um, also the last couple of years, we’ve either been on vacation during the holidays or just getting back or just getting ready to go away. So we really haven’t done a traditional Seder in, in a couple of years. Um, and again, it’s one of those things, if we can do it, great. If we, we can’t, you know, that’s okay too. I don’t think anybody’s upset, you know.

Speaker 4:20:59So what’s the traditional cedar? Just give a brief overview of what

Speaker 6:21:03that’s traditional Seder, uh, would be where, you know, we would have a kind of a big meal. Um, we would also read from the Haggadah, which is a prayer book, basically describing the, the story of Passover, uh, various different parts. You know, again, with the, the drinking of the wine, it gives the explanation of why there’s the four cups of wine. Um, there are, uh, the four questions of why is this night different from all other nights? And it basically gives you an explanation as to why you’re doing things for Passover, why you eat differently, you know, why, uh, you don’t eat certain foods and why you do eat certain foods. And it’s a very symbolic holiday, right?

Speaker 4:21:52More very ritualized meal that we do.

Speaker 6:21:55Right, right. You know, like obviously pork in general isn’t kosher. Well, you know, kosher for Passover is even more strict. Um, so, you know, there’s the eating the Masa as opposed to eating bread, having bitter herbs, having things with salt water to remember the tears, um, making sorosis, which is to symbolize the mortar, um, to the, of making the brick. So it’s very, everything kind of goes back to, you know, the Egyptian times and, and what the Jews went through, right. Um, to get their freedom to get the, the exodus.

Speaker 4:22:37Okay. So Madison, how do we celebrate Easter?

Speaker 7:22:42Well, normally we would invite some of our family over and we would have, and we were, and you guys would normally set up an Easter Han while I was busy, um, talking with others and doing other stuff. And then we’d all go on a huge Easter Ray Kon. I remember one year we had a huge, um, haunt and I still remember the one year or I lost it too, so,

Speaker 4:23:08oh yeah, yeah, yeah. When I was kicked in the face. Yeah. That whole old families traditions. Can we strike on it? You know?

Speaker 6:23:17Yeah. Losing a tooth. Yeah. That’s totally what Easter is about.

Speaker 4:23:21So from an eastern standpoint, we really, we only celebrate what’s known as the secular aspects of Easter. We don’t really celebrate the religious aspect. Yup. Novel. We don’t go to church. Uh, we don’t have a blessing at the dinner or anything like that. We celebrate what’s really mainstream, you know, Easter eggs and candy. And there’s a fun part of it. The fun part, there’s, I mean, there’s, there’s some gift giving us some sword. There’s a plan exchange to symbolize, uh, you know, a lot of what we do is really what has traditionally been the pagan aspects of the spring holiday though.

Speaker 6:24:00And funny enough, because most of the members of our extended family are pagans. So that’s correct. Kind of, you know, but it kind of helps, I think in, in most respects to Meld, you know, to, to bring all of our faiths and backgrounds, you know, together having that, you know, um, more nature related, you know, like deal with that or bring about, you know, it’s springtime. So what’s spring? It’s the eggs, it’s rebirth, it’s flowers, it’s baby bunnies and things like that. And it kind of helps to bring aspects of all the, the religions together into one.

Speaker 4:24:50Well, and I think the other thing that’s interesting is the secular things that we do for Easter are very much what everyone else does for Easter too. They just sort of add the religious aspect nowadays. The, the, you know, Jesus rising and all that is really just an afterthought. Everything else, you know, I hate to say it, but it’s turned into a hallmark holiday almost as, oh, definitely. Everything’s been been merchandise to death there.

Speaker 6:25:23Oh, absolutely. Yah. You know, I remember growing up, friends, maybe talking about getting an Easter basket or you know, some sort of candy, you know, not really a whole lot. We’re now, you know, you, you hear and you know, you go to the stores and you know, aisles upon aisles of, of Easter candy and products and toys.

Speaker 4:25:52Good luck trying to find anything that’s kosher for Passover. At least not in this area. I went someplace else. Maybe. So Madison, my question to you is what aspects of this holiday, either the Passover or the Easter holiday, what do you think are your favorite parts? What do you take with you? What traditions do you cherish the most out of it?

Speaker 7:26:15Well, I’m going to start with Passover. My, yes, the stuff I like to take away from Passover’s, the fact that all together and we’re celebrating, um, the g our victory of acts of being able to escape from B, from becoming slaves. Okay. And um, I getting the Motsa

Speaker 4:26:47only time of year she’ll, she’ll be Jewish eating Motsa right. God, God forbid, cheats. Gefilte fish. But we’ll explain that later. So what about the Easter side of things besides the chocolate? What do you like?

Speaker 7:27:05Well, I like having the whole family over and we normally have a bunch of snacks. I like that. I also like having the Easter egg cons cause we always go on adventures and I always wear the bunny ears act like I’m act like I’m the bunnies sturgeon. I look for stuff.

Speaker 4:27:21So you’re, you’re very much like I am. When it comes to religious holidays, you only celebrate the good ones. You don’t do any of this suffering ones. If it’s a feast holiday or a gift holiday on there and that goes from whether it’s Jewish or Christian, I’m a CNE, you know, Catholic, you know, Christmas and Easter is all the only thing I used to, you know, worry about. Um, but that, you know, that’s selfish attitude seems to translate over to the Jewish side of the Passover when it comes to Matzah ball soup. It’s a good feast one. And as long as I’m not making, you could filter fish. Totally okay with that. And I don’t, I don’t do the fist thing, the eating kosher for Passover dinners fast. I have to give up pork. So that’s fasting.

Speaker 7:28:12Yes.

Speaker 4:28:13Unfortunately we don’t keep a kosher home during Passover. You know, I kind of separate what I eat from, you know, what you guys eat. I D I don’t enforce it, you know, which is a good thing. Cause that would be a civil war.

Speaker 7:28:33I’d also not be able to eat bread. Right. And we know that you can’t go seven days without it. So,

Speaker 4:28:41oh, it’s so good. You know, even with, with the Christian holidays, I don’t really celebrate lent. I don’t give up, don’t give up, don’t give up meat anytime. Staple part of my diet. You’ll never give up. Never,

Speaker 7:28:55unless you lived in Japan, you kind of have to because they don’t have protein. They don’t need protein.

Speaker 4:29:01Well, surely do. Did they? Yeah. They just find it in other sources. A lot of fish. The, a lot of Tofu, you know, there’s plenty of proteins. Games. Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah. So I think that’s a good overview of how we celebrate, uh, the spring holidays. And we’ll do another, we’ll do another interfaith episode for the winter holidays when they come alone.

Speaker 7:29:26There’s really nothing for spring, for summer or fall.

Speaker 4:29:30Right. So I think, uh, I think that’s good. We can

Speaker 5:29:33move on.

Speaker 4:29:40So as Madison

Speaker 7:29:42we close with your Chro, closing remarks and your shout outs. So I turn it over to you. Alrighty. So if you’re a family who has an interface, um, family, right, right. Um, and enjoy it because you get a taste of two different religions. I can definitely say with confidence that I definitely enjoy being an and then inter face family and a household. And I definitely would end if there’s anyone watching who is part of an interfaith family, I feel happy for you because you get to experience two different religions and, and their traditions and I think that’s cool. And anyone who does that, I consider you lucky.

Speaker 4:30:39Okay. Any shout outs this week?

Speaker 7:30:42Um, how about I turn it over to you first, mommy? I guess a shout out to all of our family that we, uh, aren’t able to get together with today. I definitely agree with that. Okay.

Speaker 4:31:00Anything else? Any other shout outs you want to throw him out there, Matty?

Speaker 7:31:05I mean, I think that’s pretty much it. I mean pretty much our entire extended family would be nice. Sure. No woman watching this. There’s a shout out to you and event any of my extended family’s watching. I’m just going to say hi. Okay.

Speaker 4:31:24Uh, that does it for us this week. Thank you for joining us. We’ll be back next week with another great podcast. Bye. Thank you, Matty. Thank you for having me. Thank you, Michelle, for joining us for this one. Not a problem. Thank you for having me. And, uh, we’ll catch you all next week.

Speaker 7:31:42Goodbye. Bye.