Thursday, February 10, 2005
READER REQUESTS YOUR ADVICE
A reader writes from Paris: Hi Esther! I really enjoy reading your blog and I decided to write to you as I have a problem which is not often discussed and may benefit others. I've been dating a non-Jewish Czech woman for about 6 months. Although I never put any pressure on her she has recently agreed to convert. That's good news for me as I am really attached to my Judaism. However there looms another large problem-- that of language. My mother tongue being English I would naturally speak to my future children in English. I also speak Hebrew and French fluently. My girlfriend has expressed her strong desire to speak to them in Czech. I have no reason to oppose this other than I've tried a bit of Czech and it turns out to be an extremely difficult language which for example has 7 grammatical cases (as does Latin), and it's clear to me I'll never speak it (and frankly I don't have the energy to learn it as I have been learning Spanish and Arabic over the last 5 years!). I don't want to find myself in a situation wherin I can't understand what my own kids are saying, and envision paranoia setting in as I imagine what my wife and kids are talking about. I know this problem is not a Jewish one but I imagine many people face it. I would be very grateful if you threw this topic out there as it's starting to drive me messhuga!! She's already giving up on her religion, how could I ask her to give up on her native tongue? Well, readers? Any feedback for our Parisian friend?