As the High Holy days of Judaism are here, I reflect on my religion again. For those who don’t know, I am an agnostic woman in a Jewish family. My upbringing was Christian, but I have agreed, at my wedding, to raise a Jewish family. We have done all in our ability to make sure the girls are Jewish.
Friday night was the start of Rosh Hannah, the New Year. Jay went to services alone, I stayed home with the girls. He went Saturday morning while I took the girls to swimming. He commented to me that it is hard at this point, because the girls are still too young to share the faith. The children’s service is really for K-2nd grade. After 2nd grade, you are expected to go to the full services. Next year, Soleil will be going to the children’s service. But for now, Jay celebrates alone.
Monday is Yom Kippur, the day of atonement. The idea here is that you make amends with those you wronged this past year, and ask for forgiveness. Not from G-d, but from those whom you have wronged. An interesting concept to actually force you to contemplate your own actions.
I have spent 14 years with Dr. Jay. I have studied his religion, yet I remain agnostic. There are just a few aspects of Judaism that I am not comfortable with. Most I go for, but there are a few sticking points (which I am not going into).
He accepts my decision and would never force me into his religion, or any.
This whole situation of my family being Jewish and I am "not" kicked in recently when we were looking over the Reform Judaism magazine we get. There was a discussion about the sisterhoods being asked to open the offices to non-Jewish members. This happened at our Temple. I stood up and pointed noted that you can be Jewish by birth, and hold an office, but not believe. Or you can be non-Jewish and mostly believe, but not be allowed to hold an office. Which was right? Which was okay? (that’s rhetorical…no real answer).
One woman stood up to say that she was a "Jew by choice" (ie converted). She felt that if the sisterhood let non-Jews serve as officers, then her conversion was nothing. The article in the magazine reflected the same thoughts.
I feel so, angry, for lack of a better word, when I hear people say that. You should worship the way you want simply because it is what you believe. Not because your family does it. Not because "you do it anyway". Not because your spouse is that way, not because you were raised that way….But because it is how YOU believe.
I am actually insulted that the fact that I am true to myself would upset someone who converted. They should convert because they wanted to, not to hold an office in the sisterhood.
And that is my rant for the day.
I would like to take a moment to promote a friend’s blog. He is D-Mac. He was my office mate for a few years and a good friend. He is outraged by the current administration and their ideas on our place in the global community. Take a minute to stop by and read. He’ll update about once a week or so, but he is a very intelligent and thoughtful person. Notes From a Handbasket