I think there is a lot wrong with organized religion, but being Jewish goes far beyond religion to me. It is a culture, an ancestry and a heritage, too. It is part of the fabric of who I am. I love what Judaism gives and has given to humanity. And I love being Jewish.
The kugel. ;-))
Stacey, I wish more Jews understood what you wrote. Unfortunately there are many secular Jews who only think of Judiasm as a religion, and an archaic and annoying one at that.On the flip side, I have encountered many orthodox Jews who believe that unless your lead a torah-based lifestyle, thinking of yourself as Jew is only a matter of semantics based on maternal lineage.
I hear you, Sweettooth. I have had recent dialogue with some Orthodox individuals who have told me that if they married a Conservative or Reform Jew it would have been unacceptable to their parents (as if we are heathens). What bunk.
Well unfortunately, many secular Jews are uncomfortable with more observant Jews and although I don't think they would ever tell their kids that it would be unacceptable to become BT or to marry someone who is orthodox, I do believe judgment would be pass onto them for making those decisions. I know that within my own family, I send my daughter to an orthodox day school (we are between Reconstructionist/Conservative) and my mother-n-law only has nasty things to say about it. Not sure what they are really afraid of.
I think being Jewish is as much torah as it is culture and history. Jewishness is a trait among both Jew and Gentile. Have you ever met someone who you could have sworn was Jewish or you knew just seemed Jewish because they exibited all the good Jewish traits that we hold dear to our hearts. I was had my barmitvah and that was the end of my Jewish training and "official" jewish involment but I never forgot what it was to be a Jew. Now I am back involved with the Jewish community. I attend Temple on Fridays. I read the Torah when I can and I just enjoy the Jewishness of my being. Both my cousin by marriage and my wife converted to Judaism but they both always seemed to have "Jewish souls" fromt he day I met them. To me it's a rare gift. I enjoy every different culture and race in the world. I love history of the world and how all different cultures roise and fell from power. But in the end, it is the Jewish people I feel at home with most of all. It is to them that my love and sorrow go to.
Makes sense to me.
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