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Day 4: Religion

April 27, 2011

Another heavy one.  Religion.  The stuff wars are fought over and what tears families apart.  I’m supposed to write a few paragraphs on religion and call it a day?  Right.  Let’s try to keep this simple, shall we?

I think religion is important, but I think it’s something you have to come to on your own.  I think being expected to be religious in a certain way is not realistic, it’s a choice you have to make.  I do think having exposure to religion-all religions-is important, and I do believe in religious education and supporting the religion you were born into.  Sounds a little hypocritical-make a choice, but be who you are.  Let me see if I can explain better.

I was born Jewish.  I never got a Jewish education because my parents told me I had the choice between Hebrew school and swim team.  I was 7, what do you think I chose?  Anyway, I always associated myself more as a cultural or ethnic Jew.  I liked the holidays and traditions, but never knew much about the religious aspect of anything. When Solomon and I got serious, my views on religion changed a bit.  Solomon is much more observant than I was, and he kept kosher.  When we got married I decided to keep kosher and to learn a little more.  I attend synagogue more than I used to, but I don’t really enjoy my time there since I don’t really get what’s going on.

Now, I’m taking Hebrew lessons and hope to get a bat mitzvah.  I don’t relate to the religion more on a spiritual level than before though.  I still love the culture, and have loved learning the traditions of Solomon’s family and adapting many of them as my own.  I think I relate to Judaism much more culturally than I ever did, but I just don’t have that spiritual connection.  I don’t know if I ever will.

I don’t turn to God in my time of need or prayer when I need help.  I do believe there’s SOMETHING that’s bigger out there, but I don’t know what that is, and don’t want to make a decision on that.  I like not knowing.

I do think having religion is your life is a wonderful thing, but it has to be what you want it to be.  If you really believe that praying to tomato plants twice a day gives you strength and what you need, then call that your religion.

I do think religion is fascinating in that it’s man made.  We’ve created all of these religions which cause such strife.  It’s all done by us.  We perpetuate problems, but also do what we can to minimize them.  Religion shouldn’t be something that tears people apart just because they’re different.  It should be a way to learn from one another and embrace other lifestyles.

I don’t think you need religion, but I do think it helps, and it shouldn’t hurt so much.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 27, 2011 9:09 am

    Interesting post! I think it’s true for a lot of Jews to be more ethnically/culturally connected than spiritually. My husband is Christian and he has a lot more faith in a higher power than I ever did.

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