Sukkot or soccer?

Softball or Sunday school? Friday night services or the Friday night football game? It’s hard to balance the demands of our kids’ secular lives with our desire to be active in Synagogue life as well.

Last week the choice was between the annual Sukkot Barbecue and service and after school sports practice–my younger daughter plays soccer and the older one is on her school’s volleyball team.

As a general rule I would have chosen the barbecue, but soccer practice is only twice a week–Wednesday and Friday and she just missed last Friday’s practice and Saturday’s game because it was Yom Kippur.

For us it is compounded by the fact that it takes almost an hour to get to our shul on any weekday after 3:00 pm and it’s an hour drive home if we leave before 6:30 pm. Traffic and distance are a huge roadblock to our weekday participation.

We are committed to Sunday morning religious school. Our kids rarely miss a class for that. I have heard other parents talk about their struggles because their kids games are scheduled at the same time. We haven’t ran into that conflict yet. In that case I would forgo the sport.

How does it work for you?

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Laurie Hanan
    Oct 04, 2010 @ 06:31:07

    It’s a juggling act, no doubt about it. Sometimes we miss services, other times we skip extracurricular activities. Sometimes, as a compromise, my daughter brings her homework to the temple and does it in the library while the rest of us are in services. Those times, my hope it that she will get some touch of the divine just for being under the same roof. My kids question how I decide what is most important in each situation. I don’t know. How do I choose between Friday night service or the high school Halloween dance?

    We are Jews living in a country that promises religious freedom. But let’s face it. Here, the Sabbath is Sunday. Christian festivals have been declared holidays by our government. We have chosen, for whatever reasons, not to live in our Holy Land-Israel. So we make do. We compromise. We let go of something vital to who we are in order to allow our kids to be a part of something even larger. Are we right or are we wrong? I don’t have an answer.


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