Holiday Train Garden


There is a holiday train garden in our area set up in honor of Xmas with a few elements for Chanukah. Most rabbis in our community think it is not a problem and permit Jews to go see it, and many members of the orthodox community, including rabbis, actually do take their children there. But my wife and I feel it is too non-Jewish and we don’t want our kids to see it. We think it’ll have a bad influence on them. The problem is, most of the kids in our kids’ classes have already seen it and our kids are jealous that they have not seen what their friends have and are bugging us. Their rebbes have taken notice of this and are telling us we should take our kids there. But we feel uncomfortable exposing our kids to stuff like this. What advice do you have?



  1. I am surprised that you are being told by the local Rabbis to take your children. I would have thought that they would be proud of your stance. My personal feeling is that it is your prerogative as parents to decide what is, and what is not, acceptable for your children, and my personal feeling is that it is generally incorrect for anyone to suggest that your choices are the wrong ones.

    What can you do? Perhaps there is something else that you can take your children to instead. If there is an alternative attraction that will be an enormous treat for your children, it will, hopefully, take their minds off of the Train Garden.

    Best wishes from the Team

  2. It is the rebbes of the kids who have wanted us to take our kids. They think doing so would mitigate the frustration the kids are feeling. Aside from the rebbes, no local rabbis have told us to. And we haven’t asked any. We have two congregational rabbis on our street we are acquainted with and they have both gone with their kids, but we didn’t ask them.

  3. As I wrote, I find it rather strange that they seem to think that the correct thing to do is to try and convince you and your wife to do something that you feel is against your values. In all events, I think that finding an alternative venue for your children that is exciting is the best option.

    Best wishes from the Team