Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My Beliefs: Judaism



I get a lot of arguments about my religion because (a) Facebook and (b) I have three of them.  Having three faiths tends to freak a lot of people out, mainly Christians, who freak out easily.  Don’t believe me?  Go tell one the Rapture happened, and he missed it.

If you come from a western tradition, religions are all or nothing.  You can’t be a Christian Muslim or a Buddhist Jedi.  However, you can be whatever you want.  People all over the world mix and match, picking and choosing the parts they want.

That’s what I did.  At first, I was worried I couldn’t connect all three pieces together, but I did the math and it works out.  I decided that religions give people three (positive) things: a culture, an understanding of how the universe works, and a set of stories that illustrates a moral code.  I decided to pick three different sources for those three things.

Today, let’s talk about me the Jew.

The first result under Google Images for "Jew."  Can you understand why we're a little paranoid?
Jew is what I am, first and foremost.  If I had to pick a religion from a list, it would be Jewish.  If the Nazis came back, they’d be after me.  I am 100% circumcised, and hundreds of women can verify that.

Well, dozens.

Okay, a few.

Yes, my wife is one of those.
Richard Branson will back me up.
The easy way to become a Jew is to be born to Jewish parents.  If you aren’t a Jew and want to become one, you have to go through some pretty difficult crap: classes, ritual rejection, ceremonies, and sitting through “Annie Hall.”  Of course, if you have a big nose, you can always pass.  Just pick a Jewish name and throw around some Yiddish.
Helps if you have a big schnoz.
Several of my gentile friends argue I can’t be Jewish if I don’t believe in God.  However, a secular Jew is still a Jew; it’s not like you have to accept Jehovah in your heart.  Even my mother’s rabbi, when she was growing up, was atheist.

And it’s not like God (or, as my more observant friends call Him: G-d, G*d, or G|d), will deny me access to Heaven if I’m a bad Jew.  Jews don’t have a heaven.  Or, it’s not well-defined.  Some Jews believe God will write your name in the Book of Life if you’re good.  Some believe there’s a Book of Death, too.  What does that mean?  Other than the fact your name might end up on God’s Kindle, nobody knows.  As the joke goes, I’m not a member of an organized religion; I’m a Jew.

I keep Jewish traditions.  Well, I keep the fun traditions.  Most Jewish holidays are boring, but I celebrate Passover (food) and Chanukah (gifts).  I complain.  I eat the occasional bagel with lox.  I feel guilty a lot.  I avoid pork (because it’s forbidden in the Torah), but eat ham and bacon (those words aren’t in the Torah at all).  I pay extra attention to money.  I eat too much.  I feel oppressed (seriously, I'm nervous even posting this entry).  I go to the secret society meetings where we plot to rule the world BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Oh, sorry.  Did that slip out?
A well-researched document that is entirely real.
So, I’m a Jew.  Check in tomorrow to find out what else.

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