Elissa Strauss covers the recently released Does the Shape of Families Shape Faith? from a Jewish perspective. She writes:
“The report also looks at how divorce alters the domestic rituals of religious life.
“Children of divorce experience a disruption of the “domestic church” of their home. … With their parents, children pray at meals or bedtime, read stories, and ask questions about the nature of God and the meaning of life. In homes, they celebrate religious holidays and sacraments and participate in family traditions. When divorce affects families, these practices can be more difficult to maintain.” (quoted from the report)
This point is especially interesting in a Jewish context because so much of our traditional observance occurs in the home. From weekly Shabbat dinners to Passover, the home is an important site of religious practice, and for many people, their best Jewish memories take place at the kitchen table.
Divorced Jewish parents might want to take note of this one and make sure they are maintaining these at-home rituals post-split if they expect or desire their kids to take an interest in a Jewish life when they are adults. These rituals may very well be unique to their family’s Jewish expression and individual realities (maybe it is just a shared pot of turkey-chili on Friday night, a few electronic-free hours on Saturday, or matzo brei during Passover instead of more traditional observance); the point is to maintain them.” Read more…