Gifts from Non-Orthodox Grandparents

Gifts from Non-Orthodox Grandparents

On those days when she wakes up on time, my 5th grader davens at 8:30 AM with her class and teacher via Zoom. This morning, I walked into the kitchen to grab something when I heard something that forced me to stop and listen. The girl leading the prayers was singing with remarkable confidence, accuracy, and crystal-tapped beauty. Could this possibly be an 11-year-old??
Afterward I asked Tsofia which of her classmates had been leading the prayers, and when she told me the girl’s name, I completely understood. Both of this girl’s grandfathers were professional chazanim at large Orthodox shuls in Canada. With grandfathers like that, I thought, of course she could lead 5th grade Shacharit with rare confidence and skill.
Which got me wondering…What blessings my own non-Orthodox parents have passed onto their grandchildren, the children of their daughter who chose a path so different from their own?
But a second later, I felt ridiculous for even asking the question. My parents have passed on countless and profound blessings to my children. The greatest among them, maybe, being the direct consequence of the fact that they are non-Orthodox parents of an Orthodox daughter. My parents have gifted my children with a mother who, having learned from their mind-blowing personal example, is learning to love and accept her kids, even if they choose paths different from her own.


  1. This is beautiful. It’s a nop notch lesson you’ve passed on to your children. If your children take a different path, and they still feel comfortable in your (their) home, then you know you’ve made it. You’ve shown them unconditional love.

  2. Thank you for sharing! May your parents have much nachat from your lovely family

  3. This post really moved me. My husband is a BT and I admire his parents for their accommodating our different ways… like when we take over their kitchen…use a million paper plates… won’t let our boys go to the beach… can’t talk on the phone for half the weekend… a million things… and they are respectful about it. Something I can learn from them

  4. Mina Esther Gordon

    There is a very important point that I would like to clarify. Of course it is crucial for a parent to accept and love their child unconditionally, in a way that the son or daughter feels it. That doesn’t mean that the parent should accept their actions or situation as valid choices.
    If G-d forbid a son or daughter had an eating disorder, would the parents accept it as a valid dietary choice? Of course not. And because of their love for their child they would do whatevr they could to bring that child back to optimum health in body mind and soul

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