by Shala Erlich

A Kashrut of Families

Keeping divorced parents apart

There was almost always a plane flight between my two families. The five hour flight from coast to coast was like the interval between a meat meal and a milk one, in which I absorbed nothing but my own company and the superficial attentions of the stewardesses. I stitched away at embroidery or read straight through The Yellow Book of Fairy-tales. Sometimes, inhaling the synthetic, cigarette-tinged air, stared through the crystals on the window at the wing and sky, avoiding the nauseating, late-seventies, pink and orange upholstery on the seat in front of me. It was good to have this self-contained zone to myself I enjoyed a certain purity and privacy as I traveled solo between parents who, on the rare occasions they met face to face, radiated such restrained hostility that I wasn’t sure if they were the kind of chemicals that couldn’t mix or the kind that, if they touched, would leap together, causing a terrifying explosion.

Continue reading this article…

Already a subscriber? Log in above to keep reading. Or subscribe now for immediate access to the complete digital and print editions, plus exclusive online access to Lilith's back issues.

Divorce

The articles in this special section:

A Kashrut of Families

by Shala Erlich

Erlich struggles with her own elaborate rules, like separating milk and meat in a kosher kitchen, for how to make sure there’s minimal mingling. Her own wedding is the litmus test for how well she’s doing.

A “Happy” Divorce

by Ilana Kramer

Recalling strife-free “family” vacations with both her (not-yet-remarried) parents, Kramer may be the embodiment of the kid who is blissfully blind to the conflicts that fractured the family in the first place. Then her mom weighs in.