Every Friday at my son’s Tel Aviv kindergarten, the kids participate in a traditional Sabbath welcoming ceremony. Two kids delegated “Abba (father) Shabbat (Sabbath)” and “Eema (mother) Shabbat (Sabbath)” light candles, say a blessing over the wine (grape juice), eat challah and lead the class in singing songs.
My son was Abba Shabbat yesterday. En route to school he asked:
Mom, how come there aren’t two Abba Shabbat’s?
Uh..well..I stammered..Because Israel hasn’t gotten that far in terms of sexuality and traditional roles? Because this isn’t San Francisco? Because…???
I then proceeded to explain that although he isn’t seeing two Abba Shabbats at school, it’s an okay part of everyday life. And illustrated via example – our gay friend Dean.**
He is Abba Shabbat with another Abba Shabbat?
Yes, dear. He doesn’t have an Eema Shabbat. (Unless they’re role playing and feeling frisky and …well I don’t need to go there with a five-year-old)
And the ensuing conversation was about girls, boys, boys who like boys, girls who like girls, (Blur, anyone?) kissing, being chased by girls who kiss…*sigh*. And so it begins.