Minimum Viable Passover

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By N. Harrison Ripps (

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N. Harrison Ripps says:

A few followup thoughts:

For the sake of trying to minimize the sprawl of this article, I didn't spend time on my parents' relationship with each other. They had decided to separate and were in the process of divorcing during the year leading up to my Bar Mitzvah. That was actually the best decision they ever made.

If my mom seems complicit in all of this – she wasn't. My parents' relationship with each other was awful, and when it came to religion, my mom was doing her best to follow my father's lead. He set the tone for religious practice in our household and it was wildly hypocritical.

My message to anyone who wants to raise children within a religious framework is this:

  1. You've got to be brutally honest with yourself about how much of the religion you actually practice. You can't demand more out of the children than you expect of yourself.

  2. Beyond the standards you honestly hold yourself to, understand what is age-appropriate for your child.

  3. If the appearance of piety in a house of prayer is more important to you than applying your beliefs to help others in the real world, you've missed the mark and the child will figure that out sooner or later.