For a while after I left my parents’ home and religion, my parents asked me to visit more often. They’d invite me for shabbos, and they’d ask me to just drop by for suppers.
One evening when I had stopped by after work, my mother and I sat at the dining room table and chatted. I was still being careful to hide parts of my life from her. Not that she didn’t know about them in theory, but I knew the pain she felt each time I casually mentioned something that starkly reminded her I wasn’t frum.
At one point, she asked a roundabout question that was obviously designed to find out if I was still a virgin or if I had crossed that barrier too. I got a little frustrated with her frequent not-so-subtle probing, and decided to address it with no pretenses.
“I’m still a virgin. But at some point, that answer will change. Are you sure you still want to be asking this question, knowing you’ll hear a different answer at some point?”
She was quiet for a moment, then asked, “Can I just say one thing?”
“Be careful what you put in your body. You wouldn’t take drugs when you’re pregnant, because that could hurt your baby, right? Same with other things. You made your choices in life, but make sure your child has the chance to make their choices. Don’t take that choice away from them. Don’t put anything in your body that could harm them and take that choice away from them.”
I nearly choked, and then nearly said, “But the Jewish status of a child is determined by the mother, right? So no matter what kind of man impregnates me, whether he’s Jewish or not, my children will be fully Jewish according to your definition anyway.” Then I nearly said, “Don’t worry, I don’t want to have children anyway, and I’ll use a condom.”
I said none of that and the conversation moved on.
Later, I recounted this conversation to a friend, who said delightedly, “Ha, she was warning you off goyishe dick!”