The Miracle of a Mother-in-Law
by Rabbi Aron Moss
So my son just got engaged to a wonderful girl. We love and adore her, she is so good to him. But one issue, she has zero interest in Judaism. She thinks it's 'mostly rubbish,' but I know this is out of ignorance. I go to classes at shul and ask her if she wants to join, but she never does. She eats ham and cheese sandwiches! How can I show her, involve her, embrace her in without being the revolting jam-down-your throat type. I want to explain to her how easy keeping kosher is, how wonderful it is to keep a Jewish home, how it adds to your life and does not detract etc etc... What do you think I can say to turn her around??
The best thing you can say to her is: nothing.
Don't mention Yiddishkeit. Don't tell her about the great Jewish book you have been reading. Don't explain to her why you braid the challah. Don't invite her to come to classes with you, and don't give her a rundown afterwards of what she missed.
Just do your thing. Be an example of a Jewish woman whose life is enriched by Torah. Be good to her, nice to her, accepting of her. Embrace her as she is right now. This will speak louder than any lecture you could give.
If one day she asks you a question about Judaism, give her an honest and meaningful answer. But wait for the interest to arise from within her.
In time, she may come to it herself, in her own way. You have to let her go on her path. This may not come naturally to you. But it will be better in the end. Pushing her will only push her away, from Judaism and from you.
Many people turn to religion when they witness an open miracle. Well, you can perform a miracle right now. When she sees her passionate and outspoken mother-in-law holding her piece and letting her be, she will have to concede, indeed there must be a G-d.