This Passover: Thoughts on Judaism and Being Jewish

https://www.sapiens-sapiens.be/502-dtgf32159-site-badoo-gay.html As I consider what it means to be Jewish, I find myself thinking about my own family and my own identity. My family covers the spectrum – from my ultra-Orthodox great-grandparents to my staunchly Communist Sabbath candle lighting grandmother to my religiously antagonistic yet culturally Jewish parents to my modern Orthodox daughter. We have Hasidim, modern Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jews; Zionists, Communists; fighters in the Jewish Underground in World War Two occupied Poland; atheists, humanists – and even one great uncle who was a little bit on the wrong side of the law. And all of them – ALL OF THEM –call themselves Jewish.

Family candlesticks and headscarf

buy provigil online reviews Every Friday evening, I light the Sabbath candles. I use the brass candlesticks brought from Poland by my orthodox great grandmother. She was my maternal grandmother’s mother. She ruled over the orthodox household my mother grew up in, and when she died, my grandmother continued to light the candles and wear the headscarf. My grandmother, an ardent Communist who had no use for any part of organized religion, lit these Sabbath candles. Now I light them, here in northern Maine in my as kosher as possible, moderately observant home. And when I am done, my daughter will continue.

And maybe that is what I love most about Judaism and being Jewish – that it allows for all of us. There is room. One can believe or not believe. One can be connected to people and tradition and ethics. One can ask questions and disagree and argue and still belong. And indeed, Judaism is full of questions. Our religious texts ask question after question, and for each question, the rabbis give more than one answer. And often those answers seem to contradict each other. The answers can leave you with more questions. We ask these questions of each other, of our rabbis and sages, and of G-d. We argue with them and each other. We are allowed.

https://www.stellasenra.com.br/1172-dtpt40213-namorar-longe.html Maybe it is this questioning that I love the most. Judaism does not demand unquestioning acceptance and worship. We are encouraged to converse with G-d and the world. We argue. From the time Abraham raised his voice over the binding of Isaac (and Sarah – surely she, too, argued), we have argued and asked why and how and what is the purpose.

And when my daughters, over the years (and, in fact, just the other night), have asked me those same questions, how do I answer? We ask in order to learn. It is through the questions and the conversations that we get to what is most important: living an ethical and kind life and working to make a piece of the world better. Because, in the end, we can find in Judaism an ethical foundation and a system of social justice that produces rabbis and reformers and Zionists and socialists and human rights advocates. We find a space that includes us all.

“Thus there would seem to be more than one way for the Jew to assume his condition. There is a time to question oneself and a time to act; there is a time to tell stories and a time to pray; there is a time to build and a time to rebuild…

“His mission was never to make the world Jewish but, rather, to make it more human.” (Elie Wiesel, “To Be a Jew,” in A Jew Today (1978)


About Erica Nadelhaft

Northern Maine Educator

Erica Nadelhaft was born in Madison, Wisconsin, but grew up in Maine and Scotland (United Kingdom). She is an adjunct professor of World and European history at the University of Maine at Fort Kent and received a BA in History from Brandeis University and a MA in Contemporary Jewish Studies with a specialization in the Holocaust from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her article, “Resistance through Education: Jewish Youth Movements in Warsaw”, was published in POLIN: Studies in Polish Jewry (Oxford University Press). She has also worked as a book group facilitator and program evaluator for the Maine Humanities Council and as a Polish and Hebrew translator for POLIN. She is a regular lecturer for the Fort Kent Senior College. She has three grown daughters and lives in Fort Kent, Maine, with her husband.

Email: erica.nadelhaft@maine.edu

Erica Nadelhaft

Erica Nadelhaft

Northern Maine Educator Erica Nadelhaft was born in Madison, Wisconsin, but grew up in Maine and Scotland (United Kingdom). She is an adjunct professor of World and European history at the University of Maine at Fort Kent and received a BA in History from Brandeis University and a MA in Contemporary Jewish Studies with a specialization in the Holocaust from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her article, “Resistance through Education: Jewish Youth Movements in Warsaw”, was published in POLIN: Studies in Polish Jewry (Oxford University Press). She has also worked as a book group facilitator and program evaluator for the Maine Humanities Council and as a Polish and Hebrew translator for POLIN. She is a regular lecturer for the Fort Kent Senior College. She has three grown daughters and lives in Fort Kent, Maine, with her husband.
Posted in
{{Privy:Embed campaign=1372091}}