As a Jewish person, I was so pleased with the 100th episode plot. This whole thing has rang so true for me and it hit really close to home and I am just incredibly thankful that they respected Lily and her religious beliefs. I’m currently entering an interfaith marriage with a husband who was raised Christian but never believed in it and doesn’t have any desire to raise children that way. On the other hand, I deeply value my Jewish faith but I don’t want to feel like I’m shoving it down his throat.
The Kennishes were raised Christian and feel like that needs to be the default for baby Carlton even though they don’t practice. They want their grandson to be baptized in the Christian church because “that’s what you do”. Obviously, this sounds upsetting to Lily but she hears them out. They meet with a reverend so he can explain the point of a baptism to Lily so she understands what it means and the whole thing really freaks her out. The ceremony is supposed to absolve their one year old son of sin? What sin? Original sin passed down by the parents? So he doesn’t burn in hell if he dies too soon? This is a flat no for Lily. She gave it a chance but as someone raised Jewish, how can you wrap your mind around any deity damning an innocent child to hell and that being acceptable?
She spoke her mind about how her religion is more than that, it’s a culture, a people, a way of life. It has their own community, their own food, their own language, their own sense of humor. Lily can’t imagine not sharing that community with her son. Toby agrees and then commits to educate himself on the religion and the culture and he accepts that his son will be raised in the Jewish faith. But what made me cry was when the grandparents conceded and didn’t hold any ill will against Lily. She said they could still expose Carlton to Christmas and Easter as secular holidays but that their house would be Jewish.
I literally cannot express how nervous I was about this story line and how relieved and emotional I am with the outcome. It hit me hard specifically because I’m dealing with this myself but mostly because it depicted a Jewish person sticking to her beliefs while respecting others. It showed her in such a good light and it even redeemed the proselytizing of the grandparents. In a day in age where antisemitism in on the rise and I often feel afraid to outwardly display my religion, I am overcome with happiness that SAB had the courage to allow positive Jewish imagery.
THANK YOU, SWITCHED AT BIRTH. And mazel tov on your fantastic 100th episode. :)
Bismuth: …You shoulda shattered me back then… At least if I
were in pieces, I wouldn’t have to know how little I mattered to you…
You didn’t even tell ‘em.. You bubbled me away and didn’t ever tell your friends… My friends!
Steven: I’m going to tell them! I’m gonna tell them everything!