Editors disclaimer: Before I even begin to dive into this topic, I am letting you know that I am not making any assumptions, judgments, or references to other people’s beliefs or ideals about religion. I am speaking from experience/the heart, and that is it. Religion is a tricky and sensitive subject to many, but please know that I am not biased. Not even close! I welcome all religions, ideas, and walks of life here. So, please feel free to comment on this blog, but please don’t judge each other or me. I will not tolerate it!
Well, now that that’s settled, I must apologize for my absence yesterday. I was in the middle of writing a post, when two transformers went down right across the street from me, and my entire area lost power for a couple of hours. And needless to say, I lost everything that I had written. So, because I was feeling nosey, I followed the mass amounts of people that were gathering across the street, and when I asked one of my neighbors what happened, he said “must’ve been an act of GOD! Uuu-huh!” So I just shrugged my shoulders and smiled at him.
I stood there watching a small brushfire and a dangling live wire with sparks until the fire department came. I went back inside shortly there after and thought about what my neighbor had said “must’ve been an act of GOD.” And of course I thought to myself “two power lines blew for no reason at all… nothing we can do about the power going out… shit happens… it was not an act of god.”
Or was it?
Thinking back almost five years ago, I was officially a few weeks away from delivery. I had planned on having my son circumcised regardless, but I was also adamant about not having a Bris (a Jewish tradition of circumcision). I wanted my son to be circumcised, in the hospital, by a doctor, with anesthetic, in a sterile environment, without an audience. I just had this awful vision of a shaky old Moil (the man who performs the circumcision) messing up, and causing my 8 day old to suffer in pain and disfigurement for life. I know… I’m dramatic sometimes, but that vision I had was freaking me out. Still does. And also, I think it’s a barbaric tradition… and it freaks the crap out of me!
A few months later, my grandmother called and asked me if we (Jason and I) were going to have a baby naming (when a Jewish boy or girl recieves their Jewish name. It’s their next step into Judaism.) I stuttered and stammered on the phone for a few minutes, and then I caved in again. A month later I met with the Rabbi and a date was set. Willy received his Jewish name, Mordechai Reeshone which means (first warrior) on a Friday night, in front of a hefty crowd, at my family’s Synagogue.
My husband stood up there with me during the ceremony, and I knew he wasn’t too keen on the whole idea of a baby naming, but I reassured him that this act of faith was painless, would be over shortly, and that we wouldn’t call him Morty or anything. It was just a name…
Fast forward 4.5 years later.
I am Jewish by birth, raised with Jewish traditions, went to hebrew school three days a week for years and years, was Bat Mitzvah’d, went to Israel (the motherland) when I was sixteen, and confirmed at eighteen. I had gone through each and every step in my climb up the Jewish ladder to adulthood, but sadly… the older I get the less faith I seem to have. I now consider myself to be a “fair weather” Jew, meaning, I’m as Jewish as I wanna be, when I want to be. Got it?
Well, I was recently asked by friend if we were going to raise Willy Jewish… and I just didn’t know what to say. I believe in so many things, but now, more then ever, I believe in tolerance. I believe in good manners. I believe in kindness, helpfulness, purpose, self respect, and so much more, that I feel like those are the main purposes in life now. Not a higher a power. I want Willy to believe in himself. I want him to be kind and a respectful/respected member of his community. I want him to value his own life and the lives of others. And most importantly, I want my son to know how that he can always count on those around him who support him and respect him for who he is. Now THAT is my faith of choice for him, and I don’t think that I need to go to a house of worship to practice those things.
Now, this doesn’t mean that I’ll never bring my son to my temple or anything like that, but if he chooses to worship a higher power someday, I certainly wouldn’t deter him from that. In fact, I would encourage it. Really, I would. So when the day comes that he asks me about GOD and religion, I hope that he and I can have an open conversation about it. I hope that he can feel free to ask me questions about GOD/religion, and I hope that I can give him the answer that he is looking for. And if not, I’m sure I can point him in the proper direction and someone else can offer the guidance that he is looking for.