Mixed-religion relationships can be a challenge, especially when your partner doesn’t understand the beliefs and traditions of your faith.
That’s the situation a Jewish Reddit found themself in with their non-Jewish boyfriend when he made a gaffe at their family Passover celebration, and it caused quite a bit of drama. So they went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective on how they handled it.
The Original Poster (OP), who goes by the name Bfatpesach on the site, asked:
“AITA for not defending my boyfriend after my parents got upset at him?”
“My boyfriend and I went to my parents for Passover, along with my sister and nieces. My boyfriend isn’t Jewish and didn’t know anything about Passover but said he was interested in learning.”
“Part of the tradition is leaving a glass of wine out for Elijah, a legendary prophet who is supposed to return to Earth someday to announce the arrival of the Messiah. You leave the glass of wine out so you have something to give him in case he comes by. We went over the story of Elijah during the Seder.”
“The morning after the Seder, my boyfriend noticed that the wine was still there, and asked if someone was going to drink it so the kids would think Elijah came. My mom said no, this isn’t isn’t like the Easter Bunny or Santa, if Elijah doesn’t come then nothing happens and we’ll have to wait until next year. We don’t pretend that he came.”
“However, when the kids came downstairs they saw that the wine glass was empty, and that there was some candy there. My boyfriend told the kids that Elijah had come by at night, drank the wine, and left some candy for them. The kids were confused, but fortunately my mom was on it and said my boyfriend was just kidding, and that the candy was from him.”
“After the kids left, my parents told my boyfriend that he was wrong for doing that and found what he did disrespectful by acting like this was just another Santa type thing to give gifts to kids, even after my mom explained that this was totally different. I didn’t do anything to defend him because I felt that my parents were right to be upset.”
“He apologized to them, but is upset at me for not defending him. I explained that I did not stand up for him because I agreed with my parents that he had been disrespectful and should have known not to do this.”
“He said that I should have stood up for him because he was just trying to do something fun for the kids, and that he had never been to a Seder before and hadn’t really understood why it was inappropriate to pretend that Elijah had come.”
OP’s fellow Redditors were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this situation using the following acronyms:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
And for them this was a no-brainer.
You can’t disrespect someone’s religion and not expect repercussions.
“As your parents explained this is not like leaving out cookies and milk for Santa.”
“He disrespected your beliefs and religion by doing so…” —michaelscott1776
“NTA. He was told the right thing to do (not drink the wine, not pretend like St. Elijah Claus came), and he intentionally ignored those instructions.”
“It doesn’t matter that he wanted to do something fun for kids. It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t understand why it was inappropriate. What matters is that he was told specifically what to do, and he did the opposite.” —VinnyCapistrano
“He’s basically saying he knows better than the parents about what’s cool with their own religion. Gross” —Creative-Training175
“…I am not Jewish either, but I would never think to mess around with anyone’s tradition, especially while being part of a holiday celebration . That just seems both clueless and insensitive. I am guessing that BF may lack some maturity, or maybe lacks the sophistication to understand how to comport yourself in unfamiliar waters.”
“But in reply to his question, why didn’t you defend him? You will defend him when he is right, not when he is wrong, and you will defend your relationship because only the two of you have the right to determine when that ends or continues.” —emherrera1960
“There is a part of the passover ceremony that already exists ‘for the kids’. It’s called finding the afikomen. During the seder you break and hide a piece of matzah and the kids hunt for it, and the winner gets a prize. There’s no need to add something ‘for the kids’.”
The way that other cultures insist on mythical figures breaking into your house to leave you toys and candy is so weird. I don’t get why some people think it’s the only way to find joy in a holiday.” —UXM6901
“NTA your boyfriend did something he was specifically told not to do, and then is confused as to why people are upset? If he admittedly knows nothing about Passover, was already told NOT to drink the wine and lie to the kids, who the hell does he think he is to go ahead and do it anyway?” —XStonedCatX
“…It was very clearly explained to him. This is not a Santa/Easter Bunny/Toothfairy type tradition for the enjoyment of children. He doesn’t have the excuse of ‘I didn’t know and didn’t understand’ because he was very clearly told what not to do. And he did it anyway and made himself look like not only an asshole but an idiot as well.” —RedoubtableSouth
“I mean, doing what you’re specifically told not to do and then not taking responsibility is like… THE red flags of red flags, right? Like, the red flag that birthed them all had to be this one, yes?”
“NTA, OP, hope this was wildly out of character for your bf.” —vynndetta
Hopefully OP’s boyfriend learned something from all this about respecting beliefs different than his.