A half-Jew’s favorite Hanukah gifts?

by singlemomseeking on December 26, 2008

I’m technically only a half-Jew.

Ask just about anyone, “Who’s a Jew?” and you’ll be told that a Jew is any person whose mother was a Jew, or any person who has gone through the formal process of conversion to Judaism.

The Reform movement, however, considers a person to be Jewish if either of her parents was Jewish and the child was raised Jewish. And this is why, as a kid who was brought up in a reform synagogue, I never had any reason to believe that I wasn’t authentic.

I had my bat mitzvah and confirmation alongside my friends, so I never had a clue that I was any different. Sixty of my relatives never resurfaced after the Holocaust — this alone has always connected me deeply to Judaism. In high school, I became a docent, and went to history classes to share lessons about the Holocaust with my peers.

I dreamed about going to Israel one day, and the summer I turned 16, I did. It was in Israel where, for my first time, that a Jewish scholar explained to me who’s a Jew and who’s not a Jew.

What do you mean I’m not a Jew?

According to Bryan Mark Rigg, author of “Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers: The Untold Story of Nazi Racial Laws and Men of Jewish Descent in the German Military,” this rule goes back to the Roman empire 2,000 years ago when the Romans said you were only a citizen if your mother as a citizen. When in Rome, do like the Romans do!

In other words, a bunch of white guys got together and made this rule. (If you wonder if this has caused a ruckus for me on JDate, you’re right.)


Because we’re half-way into Hanukah — and I’m a half-Jew — I’m giving a shout (completely non-endorsed!) to a couple of my favorite gifts:

You’d never see me wearing a  “Chai” Maintenance T-shirt — above — but I think it’s a clever play on words.

But how about this Hanukkah bush?


Yes, here’s to Hanukkah bushes.

I just sent a note to a cute, short, single guy on JDate, telling him I thought his profile was very well-written.

Guess how he responded?

“I’m not ready to adopt.”

That’s all he said. I’m not kidding.

I’m grateful to have all of YOU, readers. Thank you, thank you. It’s almost a new year!

Photos courtesy of Pop Judaica and Cafe Press

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

tanasie January 2, 2009 at 12:18 pm

I thought the you’re-Jewish-if-your-mom-is rule came from the pograms when the cossacks were raping the Jewish women –so you never knew who was actually the dad… so lineage came from the mom. At least that’s what they teach at Sunday school in east Tennessee.
Screw the troll who thinks your daughter’s looking for a daddy.

tanasie´s last blog post…Keeping the Crazy to Yourself


Schvach January 1, 2009 at 1:59 pm

You’re welcome,you’re welcome! Happy New Year, and lots of luck in your search.

Schvach´s last blog post…


jeanie December 27, 2008 at 10:41 pm

lol – I have never understood the whole “have no kids/want no kids” response when you are a single parent.

LOVED your response.

jeanie´s last blog post…‘Salina and the Santa saga…


Katherine (SOLO dot MOM) December 27, 2008 at 9:22 am

Too funny, Rachel, too funny. 😉

Katherine (SOLO dot MOM)´s last blog post…Christmas Present


PT-LawMom December 26, 2008 at 8:08 pm

Wow, what a winner. But, hey, I can appreciate a guy who doesn’t waste my time, even if he is a complete prick. Love the Hanukkah Bush thong. Hahahaha.

PT-LawMom´s last blog post…Santa Bribery


judy December 26, 2008 at 7:28 pm

great response….
at that juncture another response could be

I don’t want to be adopted just laid and you just missed a great one!


T December 26, 2008 at 7:23 pm

That’s good stuff. And yeah, I was thinking what Jim said.

Looking forward to Tuesday!!! Hooray!!

T´s last blog post…Christmas Tales


amy nathan December 26, 2008 at 6:18 pm

better to know today than tomorrow that some guy isn’t interested in being a dad to your kid. so then you don’t waste a moment more of your time! his loss!

love the chai maintenanc tee shirt. there’s a hat and coffee mug too…not that i’ve thought of getting one. uh huh.

amy nathan´s last blog post…A Christmas ramble


singlemomseeking December 26, 2008 at 2:47 pm

Thanks for getting it Lance.

I’m still hoping the Hanukah fairy is going to give me a pair of those…. Four more days left and I’m wishing.


Lance December 26, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Hanukkah Bush! I love it! Does no one else appreciate this saucy humor? Also, SMS, do you OWN a pair of these??

Lance´s last blog post…Merry Christmas from Honey and Lance


singlemomseeking December 26, 2008 at 1:18 pm

Jim: Thanks for making my day! I love it!

I should have kept my mouth shut with that guy on JDate. I really should have.

But I wrote back to him:

“I’m not looking for a Daddy. I’m looking for a man.”

What do you think?

It’s always a great way to start your day: having a spat online with a man you’ve never met before.


Crazy Computer Dad December 26, 2008 at 12:53 pm

I find it amusing when I get winks or emails from women that do not have children and don’t want any.

Crazy Computer Dad´s last blog post…Mania….


Jim Everson (Depot Dad) December 26, 2008 at 12:24 pm

Ha! He probably meant to say he is ready to be adopted.


Leah December 26, 2008 at 10:41 am

Oy vey! That is a bunch of BS. Dontcha love patriarchy, even if it masquerades as matriarchy?

(Love the undies and shirt – those are fabulous.)

Anyway. The guy on JDate seemed so charming.

I always feel this conundrum about announcing my single parent status up front in my profiles.
I did an experiment where on one site, I was up front about it, and on another, I was not. On the site where it is less obvious I get a ton more attention. Sigh.

Leah´s last blog post…Fear and loathing…


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