Parenting Dilemma: Is It OK for Jewish Kids to Dye Easter Eggs?

Dilemma: We are Jewish but my kids really want to dye Easter eggs because they feel they are missing out on the fun. My husband is opposed to the idea. I suggested we see what other parents think before deciding. So, what do you think?

Every Friday at 8:10 p.m., readers meet on the Chicago Parent Facebook page to help solve parenting dilemmas. 

“I grew up without it. It was upsetting but I survived. I understood it was my mother’s religious choice and accepted it. I now allow and participate in it with my children. Still the same religion but I’ve adapted it to our lifestyle. I don’t see any harm in eggs or hunts or games for Easter.” — Sara P.

“OMG, just dye the eggs. It’s not a sacrilegious event. Marrying into a mixed religion situation is going to cause a bit of overlap and you need to pick your battles. Coloring Easter eggs isn’t a Catholic tradition.” — Dana H.

“Same boat. We have used our spring eggs on our Seder plate some years.” — Heather P.

“My husband’s Jewish, I’m Catholic. The Easter bunny is neither so color the eggs. My boys love it.” — Karen S.

“Maybe you could also invite some non-Jewish friends of theirs over to share in one of your traditions, like Shabbat. It will reinforce that while it’s cool for them to want to share in Christian tradition, they also have a heritage that they can proudly share with others.” — Anne G.

“I grew up Muslim and we dyed eggs, had a hunt and Santa even came to visit. My parents let us know it was all in fun, and we considered it to be no more religious than trick or treating or the tooth fairy. I think it’s all about how you and your husband portray it.” — Beneen P.

“When religion & cultures create division. Kids just want to be kids. Whatever your faith, it’s always nice to incorporate other faiths into your lives. As commercial as any holiday is, you can celebrate/embrace other cultures without diminishing yours. Let them color the eggs. It’s nothing more than a craft & spending time with the little ones.” — Tomicka B.

“You could even dye them with Jewish symbols – use a white crayon to draw a Star of David or whatever you like on the egg, then it will show up after you dye it blue or whatever color you like!” — Francesca M.

“It’s not that dyeing eggs is Christian dogmatically, it’s that it’s part of the Christian cultural tradition. And as a Jew I can understand how it feels odd to take part in someone else’s cultural tradition.” — Lindsay C.

“I think Easter eggs themselves are harmless but being on the same page as your husband is important.” — Sherry T.

“It can be done as a normal craft. Eggs, bunnies, etc., have nothing to do with the real meaning of Easter. I think the parents’ teachings will trump all the commercial stuff in the world.” — Sharla J.

“To each his own. No one can tell you how to raise your children. If YOU think it’s OK or a good ‘teachable moment,’ go for it. You have to do what’s right (best) for your children!” — Dawn D.

“Dyeing eggs is a tradition that goes back thousands of years in pagan traditions. Perhaps if you talk about that historical aspect with your kids and approach it as a fun, seasonal, secular activity, it could be fun for everyone in your family.(Allow me to suggest from experience that it will be more fun for you and whoever cleans the floor if you skip the glitter egg dyeing kit and stick with the standard one instead.)” — Shannan Y.

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This article originally published in Chicago Parent’s April 2020 print issue. Read the rest of the issue here.

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