Ask Bubba: My boyfriend doesn’t get the High Holidays

Ask Bubba: My boyfriend doesn’t get the High Holidays

Bubba Ruth
Bubba Ruth

bubbaIf you would like bubba to help solve your problem, you can email her at, she can’t reply to you personally, in between her kalooki club and watching Masterchef, she doesn’t have much time but she will post her reply on online.

  • This week bubba gives some High Holiday advice

Dear Bubba,

My boyfriend of 2 years wants for us to go on holiday.  He has a very demanding job and his time off is very limited. The problem is, he wants to go away for a couple of weeks at the beginning of October. This falls exactly on Yom Kippur and he can’t change his time off.

My boyfriend is not Jewish and though he knows all about the High Holidays he doesn’t understand why they are so important to me. He keeps telling me that I never go to shul any other time of the year and don’t understand why am I so bothered about going on the High Holidays? Not to mention what my mother would say if I don’t go shul on Yom Kippur.

What should I do?


Dear Warren,

If only I had a magic wand to make it all better… I would change the date of Yom Kippur this year and make it possible for your boyfriend to change his holiday. But things are never that simple!

My Harry would call this type of problem ‘a test’. In this case, it’s a test of both your religion and your relationship. But not to worry, Bubba always has a few tricks up her sleeve!

I always say relationships are a delicate balance between compromising and understanding.

First, lets talk about compromise:

You don’t say where you plan to go on holiday or if you have already booked anything. So, how’s this for an idea? You could go somewhere where you know there will be a synagogue — you boys are so clever with the Internet, I’m sure you’ll easily find a city or town with a synagogue. This way you kill two birds with one stone — you get to spend the holiday with your boyfriend and you get to be in the synagogue on Yom Kippur.

All you need to do is to get in touch with the synagogue you want to visit and let them know that you would like to spend the High Holiday with them as you will be on holiday in their area. It will be a wonderful experience, and you will certainly be welcomed into the congregation. Harry and I once spent Rosh Hashanah in New York and we loved it. It was one of our favourite holidays and I cherish the memory. Harry even got ‘called up’ what a mitzvah!

Now for helping your boyfriend understand the importance of our High Holidays:

When Rochelle was a teenager, she asked me the same question as your boyfriend: “Why are the High Holidays so important?”

Here is what I told her: “Being Jewish is a blessing and we need to renew our blessing so we stay safe. Going to  synagogue on High Holidays is about reconnecting with our Jewish roots. It’s also a time for family and being together as a community.”

Also think about this: If Yom Kippur is at the beginning of your holiday maybe you could join your boyfriend a couple of days later. Or if Yom Kippur is at the end of your holiday, maybe you could go home a few days earlier. Making time for your boyfriend and your family is very important and sometimes, as it is in this case, it can be a bit tricky.

It’s clear that you don’t want to disappoint either your family or boyfriend. I hope my words have helped you.

Your boyfriend is a lucky man to have you. I hope he understands that being Jewish is as important to you as what he is.

Now don’t forget to send Bubba a postcard and of course, well over the fast.



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