So last week was Rosh Hashannah (Jewish New Year), and as is my family's tradition, we had a bunch of people over for dinner.
I tried to teach my two year old about the holiday beforehand. We talked about it. I repeatedly read a great PJ Library book to him called "Happy Birthday to the World" (really a nice book, I definitely recommend it!). We went to a nearby orchard to get apples. I even learned how to blow the shofar to show him! (as a side note, I finally learned to blow a shofar! Cross that off my list!)
Despite all of that, when we went to light the candles at dinner, his first word was "Shabbat!" The second thing he said (like every week on Shabbat) was, "I want challah!"
Don't get me wrong, I'm not really upset. I'm actually proud that he likes Shabbat so much, and I'm amused that anytime he sees candles, he thinks it's Shabbat (and I mean ANY time, including birthday candles).
I just don't really know how best to teach him about his Judaism. There are times when I think maybe he's too young. Other times, I'm just trying to expose him to everything I can think of. And when that's the case, I'm really all over the place, ranging from a whiteboard with random Hebrew phrases to singing Eli Eli, to reading Beni ben Booni.
One thing that I'm kind of glad that I didn't do was bring him with me to services. I had a feeling that it would have been a nightmare, and I'm pretty sure that would have been an understatement. One of his friends at school went with his mother to services and she said to me, "I wasn't in services for more than 45 seconds." So yeah, with my little mover and shaker, it would have been terrible.
Regardless, I never actually figured out a good way to teach my son about Rosh Hashannah. Maybe two is too early to really expect him to figure it out. In the end, I'm just happy that he had a good time at dinner, he made some challah, and liked the apples and honey. Overall, a pretty good new year.