There are charity walks aplenty in the fall here in NC. It makes sense, as it's finally cooler, or supposed to be. We've registered for a fun run as a family and I've registered for the Heart Walk in honor of a friend in early October. I'll walk beside her and am thrilled to do so.
I'm also participating in the Color Me Rad race on October 27th, the day before my 40th birthday. A huge milestone deserves something as huge, don't you think?
But I digress. In a big way. No surprise to many of you, I'm sure.
Perhaps it is because I am turning 40 that I'm thinking more about my religious beliefs? I'm not quite sure what triggered this flash of concern, confusion, need for information, education and more.
I posted today in my local mommies' online community asking for feedback. Insight. Information. Recommendations.
I indicated that I have been prompted by several things, the primary one being the holidays' rapid approach. But then I add to that thought process. I'd like to bring my daughter to temple. I'd like for her to experience an observance, an understanding, some education regarding our religion. My beliefs. The way that I was raised.
And then there comes the other thing. You know it. Or you will. She starts school soon. (I know - you KNOW!) And down here in NC there is no holiday break for these holy days. If I should choose to keep her home I would have to do so on my own. Now - she'll only be in Kindergarten so it isn't the worst of all things. But I feel as though if I DO keep her home I need to bring her to services. It's only right. It makes the most sense.
But then, I don't have a temple. Not yet, anyway. So I've asked my friends and *neighbors* to guide me into finding one. Seems I do that every year - same time, same questions.
There are requirements involved.
Side note: By the way, I don't usually blog about religion but I needed to tonight. It's weighing on me. If you're bored, I respect that, feel free to move on.
The requirements are critical, are they not? One wants to feel comfortable in a place of worship - as it were. And for me, my husband is not religious in any way-shape-or form. None. Nada. That's cool. I'm okay with it. Obviously. Or we wouldn't be here today, right? So I need to feel that I've found a place that is comfortable enough that should he attend for any reason at all, a ceremony, a play, performance, something that my child is participating in and her father should/may/might want to be at ... this place has to be comfortable and welcoming enough for him to be okay with staying and being there for his daughter.
So this sounds a certain way for you, I'm sure. You may have questions. Am I reform? Conservative? Certainly not Orthodox. What else is there? What am I?
Good questions, thanks for asking. I'll let you know when I know.
I also have a random requirement. Which sounds so silly, almost hypocritical, I'm aware. I need for there to be Hebrew as a part of the services. It's just not right if it isn't there.
Ask me if I can read it. No. I cannot. Can I speak it? I shake my head. I know the words of many of the songs, some of the prayers. I will read along happily in English but something deep within me says that there has to be some Hebrew spoken. It's a must. Required. Why? I don't know. Or I do.
Because when I went to temple with my dad all those holidays - all those years of my life - every time - every season - the services were entirely in Hebrew. And while I don't wish for that I do wish for some semblance of it to exist for me. For my daughter. For my family.
And I want to be sure that come the holidays and Judaism as a whole, that my daughter learns and experiences a lot more than lighting eight candles one week out of the year.
I mean, she looks super cute doing it and all, but there's more to life than presents and potato latkes!
So - what do you think? Any words of wisdom? Advice? Experience? Tips on how you found your religion again? Or made sure you never lost it? I'm all ears. And I thank you for yours. Your ears. Your eyes. For listening. Reading. Thinking. Sharing. Maybe you don't have any experience to share, but if you know someone in your circle who does - please encourage them to do so. Y'all know where to find me. I'm the not-so-lonely-Jew-on-Christmas (in the south!).
And if you didn't get that reference, relax. It's South Park. We're all good here.
Much love. Continued nachas. L'chaim. To life. Mine. Yours. Ours.