Questions About Ultra-Religious Siblings

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    I have a brother who is Ultra Orthodox. He wears a black hat, studies in a yeshiva, and is serious about his religion. I am not religious, but I respect his beliefs and lifestyle.

    He recently had a son. I would like to help out and I woud like to know if the following are acceptable/appropriate in the Orthodox world –

    1. I would like to set up an educational trust for his son.

    2. His wife works very hard and I would occasionally like to offer to take the baby for the day.

    Thanks in advance for your replies.


    Set it up. offer the help.


    I’m sure your brother will be grateful for both offerings but should they refuse your second offer please dont take it personally many young mothers are ill at ease allowing anyone to watch their baby.



    Your brother is lucky to have a sibling who is respectful to his religious observance, regardless of your own! I commend you for offering to help out and I can assure you that both ideas are perfectly in line with general orthodox behavior.

    Obviously, he and his wife may have reasons for declining which I didn’t think of, but like I said, these are generally acceptable practices.

    Go ahead and offer your help – I’m sure your brother will be more than happy to discuss these offers with you!

    Regardless of whether or not he accepts the offer-I’m sure he will appreciate it immensely.



    Both suggestions are appropriate and very thoughtful of you.

    Just keep in mind that when they give the baby to you for an outing, to follow their instructions to the letter with regard to care and feeding… a detail that you might believe to be insignificant with regard to the kosher status of food may very well be significant.

    The Wolf


    You’re a good brother. I would say go ahead and offer.

    I grew up in such a home, with uncles and aunts who were not religious, and we were always very close with them.


    Mazel tov!

    Nothing to add but may you all stay close and share many simchos together!


    Really a nice gesture, Robert.

    Personaly, I think the 2nd offer is the nicer of the 2. Quick suggestion? Offer to watch the nephew in their house. That might be an easier offer for them to take you up on, logisticaly speaking, and peace of mind for mom.

    doodle jump

    RobertCo: Very thoughtful and kind of you. Wishing you and your family only smachos.


    You are brothers and you are an Uncle. Mazal Tov! Do whatever you feel in your heart you would like to do to secure the child’s financial future. That is extremely thoughtful of you. Any offers to help will always be appreciated whether or not they will be accepted.

    Visiting and being there is the first step for being a part of this family. Helping in their home is the best way to go. Please do not be offended, as others said, if they do not feel comfortable allowing you to take the baby on outings. In addition it is always important to follow house rules, so wearing a kipah in their home might be something that will make them more comfortable as the child grows up because of the questions the child will have. You might have to make adjustments that YOU would not have considered before for the sake of the child, they will as well, but if you love each other there you will find a way to make this work for everyone.

    always here

    aries~ I love reading your posts! they’re so sensible & well articulated. 🙂


    the educational trust fund is a fantastic idea; and when the kid is older – taking him/her out to the park may be much appreciated – especially before pesach. 🙂

    want to be my kids’ uncle?


    just when he’s older – be careful of the gifts you give – toys that use imagination and build skills are usually a plus; but not all books and games may be accepted by your brother and his wife.

    that’s great that you really want to maintain the relationship, and care about their wishes. if the whole world would be such a mentch, lot less problems in this world.


    Thank you all for your thoughtful and insightful posts. I will keep all of your advice in mind.



    Stick around, Robert… we got LOADS of insightful tidbits to share (as I’m sure you do too)

    Have a good shabbos (or Shabbat Shalom, if that the accent you’re more at home with)


    Thoughtful post, I must say, Robert. Make the genuine offer to help, but do not be hurt if they do not take you up on taking care of the baby. New parents in general are leery of leaving their baby with someone. The trust fund is a generous idea. It’s wonderful that you are respectful of your sibling’s choices.


    You are a wonderful brother and uncle!

    A lot of parents are control freaks around their kids — and justifiably so; don’t take it personally. Be sure to clear all gifts with the parents, and especially any food. And I’m sure they will appreciate the educational trust!

    I wish your entire family well!!!

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