Plastic free partying... and some sadness
The issue of disposable table wear in particular is a huge one in the Jewish community (in fact there was an article about this in the Jewish Chronicle this week) and it's encouraging to see people beginning to take note; in fact at the Reform Movement conference last month we passed a motion that synagogues all undertake a review of their use of single use plastics and all work towards their removal. So lots of things to celebrate as we all continue to struggle against the habits we have allowed ourselves to fall into.
But this also marked a shift in my sons life in another way. He is now encouraged to wear his kippah - skull cap, and this has been a much bigger change than I expected. The weekend after his birthday we traveled up the M1 to a conference in the Midlands. At a service station well outside NW London, I was suddenly aware of my excited toddler running towards the Peppa Pig ride on toys, and the sideways looks his head was receiving. Am I putting my son in danger by encouraging a positive association with religious expression? Should he instead learn to hide his identity?
My husband has had similar experiences of quiet (and less quiet) judgments from others directed at him as a man wearing his Judaism publicly, but he is 6'2 and not someone most would choose to mess with. Am I putting my little blonde curly boy in danger? I am not sure I have an answer at this point, but I know I wish the world were not like this.