If you’ve never been on Reddit, there’s a section titled “Am I the A**h*le” aptly abbreviated AITA where people ask for clarification on a difficult situation. The idea is that commenters will help you decipher if you are being the jerk in a situation or if it’s the other person involved that holds the title.
A Jewish dad and his two children took to this subreddit to seek his own clarification. The dad, who doesn’t give his name for obvious reasons, explains that he is a remarried widower who came into his second marriage with two children by his deceased wife. He tells readers that his current wife isn’t Jewish but also isn’t particularly religious while her parents are and have attempted to convince his daughter to be baptized Christian.
Boundaries were set according to the post and the family ate dinner at the in-laws house prior to Thanksgiving. Even if you know nothing of Jewish religion, you know that those who follow religious doctrine eat foods that are kosher, which is something that had been explained to the in-laws and they had always abided by.
After the meal was finished, his mother-in-law remarked, “See, we told you nothing bad would happen.” and upon further clarification, she admitted to mixing bacon into the casserole dishes. While he says the father-in-law appeared to be uncomfortable, he agreed that he knew what his wife had done to the food. The situation resulted in his daughter crying and leaving the room with the child’s stepmother following close behind. The poster’s son, who is 15 had some choice words for his step-grandparents.
The entire situation created a rift between not just the in-laws and the person who posted, but with the wife (stepmother) as well. It seems his wife stayed behind at her parents’ house after her husband and stepchildren left. She eventually returned home to be with the family she married into. But the damage had been done after she supposedly sided with her parents in saying her stepson had to apologize before being welcome to Thanksgiving dinner being hosted by her parents.
The thousands of comments were overwhelmingly supportive and turned the comment section into a master class on confronting antisemitism.
And while I certainly don’t believe tampering with someone’s food when you’re aware of their religious restrictions is subtle, it may not be as clear as some of the more overt examples. But Merriam-Webster defines antisemitic as, “feeling or showing hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a cultural, racial, or ethnic group,” which is exactly what the Reddit poster’s mother-in-law displayed by sneakily adding bacon to the family’s food.
Commenter, Millerlicious said, “Yup. I’m Jewish, my fiancé is from a Catholic family. They might not have always understood my religion or diet, but they would have never snuck pork into my food. That is some disgusting level of antisemitism. I would be reevaluating this whole marriage.”
Another commenter, melloussa wrote, “As a Muslim who doesn’t eat pork I would feel so violated and cry like your daughter. This is just evil disrespect. They are not trying to convert you, they are just trying to prove to you that you are wrong. I would go completely NC. NTA.”
The majority of the commenters did not think the 15-year-old son should have to apologize and many thought the marriage may be too broken to salvage. The update given provided some hope explaining that he and his wife will be attending counseling and he will be speaking to his Rabi. There will be no further contact between his children and their step-grandparents for the foreseeable future.