Using Jewish holidays as an excuse to miss school misses the point


Elior Waskow

Every year, during early fall, I have to explain to my teachers why I’m missing eight days over the course of a single month for Jewish holidays. This is extremely difficult because by the end of the month teachers usually think I’m just making up excuses. This is hard because I have to make up all that work and I can’t do any of it during the holiday itself because that is against my religion. While I spend all of Rosh Hashanah in synagogue giving up my valuable education, some Jewish students skip school for the holiday but instead of going to synagogue, watch TV all day or hang out with friends.

By doing this, they disregard the importance of their education and also take advantage of their ability to take an excused absence. These students usually justify the fact that they do this year in and year out by saying that this practice shows they are observing the holiday to some extent. However, this practice does not represent a level of Jewish observance. Students do this for both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, losing three days of school to their own ignorance.  

Whatever level of Jewish observance students have, they need to go to school and not skip days unnecessarily. Their utilizing of the ability to take an excused absence is cheating the system, and they are just using their religion to get out of a couple days of school. This creates a problem when they are not observing the holiday in any way, shape, or form. Students should stop skipping school to watch tv and take advantage of the great education we can receive on a daily basis here at Wilson. It’s just not really worth the trouble.