Ask Wendy

Jewish World Review Dec. 26, 2002 / 21 Teves, 5763

The bride's Kosher crisis;
in denial about daughter?

By Wendy Belzberg | Q: I am getting married and would like to accommodate my fiancé's family. They are insisting on a strictly kosher wedding reception. If we serve a dairy meal, several of my relatives with dietary restrictions who are not Jewish or observant will have little to eat; if we serve both meat and dairy many of his relatives will be very upset. I am desperate to find a compromise.

A: Strict adherence to the laws of Kosher laws does not allow for compromise. This is just one of the many things you will learn if you marry into a religious family --- and it is one of the easier lessons. When it comes to the dos and don'ts of Sabbath observance your learning curve will be much steeper. As long as you and your fiancé are on the same page, and his family is patient and tolerant, you will find your way. The good news is that a gifted Jewish caterer can deliver a delicious meal that speaks to all of your concerns: would you believe velvety chocolate cake with non-dairy whipped cream? Your in-laws will be able to attend; your guests will never know. As for the main course, why not a rare fillet with (non-dairy) hollandaise sauce? For those vegetarians among your guests, I have yet to meet a caterer who does not offer an alternative meal for those with dietary restrictions.

Q: My 23-year-old daughter recently moved back home. She has a great job and is a wonderful person. The moment she gets home she switches on the TV and does nothing else. She used to take great care in her looks but does not seem to do so anymore. She rarely goes out: She claims that during the week she is too tired, and that on weekends her friends are busy with their boyfriends and husbands. This situation is driving me mad. What's a mother to do?

A: What's a mother to do? Dig your head out of the sand and seek the advice of a professional. All the symptoms you list scream depression, loud and clear: apathy, fatigue, diminishing social life and lack of attention to personal appearance. Stop talking to your daughter and start talking to a doctor. Immediately. It is the natural order for children to grow up and leave home.

Ask Wendy a question -- almost any question --- by clicking here.

12/18/02: Am I a 'quitter'?; all-expenses-paid nightmare; alienating brainy son
12/12/02: Bread, milk and a rabbi?; 'special status child' cause of fraying friendship
11/21/02: Attire in the Divine's 'house'; marriage failed, who gets the gifts?; does the fruit fall far from the deformed tree?
11/14/02: Does father know best?; excuses, excuses
11/01/02: Should son be able to flee the nest to the college of choice?; elderly 'friend' is becoming different person
09/28/02: 'Good friends' who take but don't give; a wife's right to know; he wants to be rude about Jews
09/01/02: Family peace, but at what price?
08/28/02: Revealing sworn secret will impact many lives; misplaced friendship?
08/22/02: Seeking help for hubby's High Holy Days hi-jinks; perplexed by parents' request; take 'em or leave 'em?
08/16/02: Trial makes friendship trying; experiencing one loss, facing another; wives and brides
08/09/02: Wedding woes are a commercial for elopement; miss the bris (circumcision)?
07/25/02: A love for the ages?; learning the steps; off the wall
07/17/02: I don't mean to sound anti-Semitic but …; Doesn't etiquette dictate that a good host make his guests feel comfortable?
06/21/02: Doing business with an Arab; driving down the road of life with my mother-in-law tailgating me; sentimental gulf clubs
06/12/02: Anti-Semites everywhere!; no need for marriage
06/06/02: Sacrifice my happiness or my family's?; bad call on 'friend'
05/30/02: Attending my ex-mother-in-law's funeral; in search of forgiveness
05/21/02: Danger and duty; host of issues; desperately seeking surgery
03/20/02: Multiples for mom; partners and martyrs; I'm a gentile --- should I explore Judaism's spiritual side?
03/07/02: Disabled child taught family love, patience and compassion
02/15/02: Sisterhood on the line; Time to cross Ts on ex?
02/04/02: Clueless convert-in-training; loyal to a wife who walked out?
01/25/02: The new 'Jewish question'; unfaithful oldsters; gambling on our family's future
01/18/02: Should son invite mom to bar mitzvah - against dad's wishes?; pay-off time?; 'my son is blackmailing me'
01/10/02: Hard to move on; separation anxiety
01/04/02: Salvaging a sister; mother knows best?
12/27/01: Paying for somebody else's charity; Down(s) and out?
12/21/01: 'Brownie points' for the Creator; I love my husband, but not his family; open-door policy needs to be closed sometimes
12/05/01: 'I celebrate Chanukah you insensitive anti-Semite!'; idealism v. responsibility; stolen gifts
11/27/01: Doubts or reservations one may have about reaching out to friends and strangers alike who are in need: From the mail bag
11/16/01: Tripping out; tactics for tactlessness; Am I a hypocrite?
11/01/01: My co-religionists are proselytizing me; tragedy intruder?; meddling mama?
10/19/01: Outside world hits home; money and mommies
10/12/01: Vacation separation; Risk present for past?
09/20/01: Secular servants; Time to tie purse strings?; dog breath --- literally!
09/07/01: Too much Torah?; Name-dropping rabbi turns off worshippers
08/30/01: Jewish 'godparents'?; summer homework
08/02/01: Have wife, won't travel; 'dis' --- as in 'distant'
07/26/01: Grandparents not invited to bar mitzvah; what to do about older sister's foul mouth; nuptial narcissism
07/19/01: Bad mannered, uncouth ethnics; lookin' for love
07/05/01: Faithless Rabbi; my wife won't let me retire; I'm in relationship limbo
06/21/01: New customs for assimilated Jews?; the business of friendship; aunty is a bad role model
06/13/01: Our friends have become political traitors; Is it love?
06/06/01: Teaching kids about the Creator, when parents aren't observant; 'wonderful woman' 'fesses up about her broken engagement; How do I find a matchmaker for my 'beautiful daughter?'
05/31/01: Couple he fixed-up is in a nasty breakup; overwrought over ring
05/16/01: The gift was counterfeit; settling for the daughter; the lush and the ostrich
05/02/01: 'Jew questions' and falsifying faith; magic marker mayhem; I want kids
04/25/01: Anti-Semites everywhere?; shilling for gifts; my kid is the 'weakest link'
04/05/01: Celebrating when Passover is inconvenient; What's wrong with the name 'Melvyn,'?; Difference dilemma: Husbands and wives and Passover observance levels
03/19/01: 7-4=insensitivity?; baby showers and tempting fate; Splitsville before or after marriage?
03/12/01: Passover party-pooper; slapped by a moral dilemma
02/14/01: Human 'mutts,' getting over it, same-sex kesubas
02/08/01: Bar/bat mitzvah blues, homework he-l, from potty to potty-mouth
01/24/01: Naughty neighbor, unprofessional colleague is dead, I'm a Jew, now what?
01/15/01: Rabbis who won't; when the rules of the 'game' change; ungracious grannies
01/08/01: My kid hates Hebrew school; Stay single or abandon heritage?
01/02/01: A Jewish Grinch? Baby bigots and when grandparents call it quits
12/18/00: Babes in Chanukah Land; my husband the kvetch; bad hair marriage?
12/04/00: My niece is a no-goodnik, when lifecycle events become dangerous, Orthodox v. Reform education
11/28/00: My ex is ruining my kids' souls; the mouth that won't stop
11/21/00: Battling brothers; how to keep a nanny
11/08/00: OY VEY! my son wants to become Orthodox; kiddies should avoid family therapy
11/08/00: Rabbi v. therapist, grandparents bearing gifts, I want my son's teacher for a sister-in-law
10/24/00: Let him enlist?, 'My son the actor'? Eating with the 'help'
10/10/00:Tipsy teens, protective spouses, kosher common-sense
10/03/00: I'm not Jewish --- not that there's anything wrong with it; mezuza machlokes; when granddad has cancer
09/25/00: I can't take Rosh Hashanah! Something for nothing? My husband needs a dinner mate
09/18/00: 'My kids' Jewish education stinks', boyfriend bandit, and single mother not by choice
09/11/00: Bris brouhaha breaks my heart, LET ME SLEEP! --- and Why can't I hold a job?
09/05/00: Righteous anger, 'dissed' daughter --- and how not to make a match
08/21/00: When one spouse becomes more religious than the other; "But the cleaning lady is part of the family!"; Why He invented 9-month gestation periods
08/21/00: 'Fessing up to granny about abandoning one's people, non-kosher sis-in-law, and 'my niece is marrying a loser'
08/14/00: Marrying 'in' for questionable motivations; Should a do-gooder be reimbursed?
08/07/00: Communing with the clouds, betrothal, and banishing bosses
07/28/00: Small-city guys, self-centered siblings
07/21/00: When a child takes religion seriously, marriage obsession, and guests who just don't get it
07/14/00: Divorcing brother-in-law, uncampy kids, and a dot.comer who makes it big time
07/07/00: Hypocrites, reality checks, and the 'real estate challenged'


© 2002, Wendy Belzberg