Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Casual Jews

Yesterday was Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is the most solemn day in the Jewish calendar. It means Day of Atonement and Jewish people fast for 25 hours. It's a day to reflect on the past year and ask God's forgiveness for any sins. (from BBC Schools)

I was UN-observant - I went to work, and did not fast or pray. I didn't even go to Kol Nidre, the service the evening before Yom kippur, when the holiday really starts, at sundown. I like the Kol Nidre service, but I already knew by late Saturday night/early Sunday morning, when my son Al came in from hanging out with his friends, that I would not go to services. It had been a busy weekend, and I wanted more of Sunday to myself, did not want to have to clean up and go to services at 7:30, and Mark was coming back from being out of town at a soccer tournament, and, and, and ... insert litany of excuses. When I was trying to make some apologetic remarks to Al, he said, "aww, Mom, I guess we're casual Jews."

And I guess that's true, though I would prefer unobservant, or maybe secular, as adjectives to my Judaism. When I asked my Dad how come we weren't more Jewish, he said, essentially, you're Debby Shapiro, you can pass, and "Hitler would have fried you and your kids, too."

I can't deny that I do enjoy the food and celebrations part of Judaism the most, but maybe that doesn't make me overly casual. Afterall, Passover is the story of the Jews flight from Egypt through food, and no one who has ever eaten at my table could say I wasn't serious about food! and I do make a great matzoh ball if I do say so myself, not to mention my favorite "Christmas" cookie, ruggelach.

No comments: