Posts Tagged: religion Results 8
A little over a month ago, I began an experiment in what I thought of as Doing Jewish Things. I wondered, if I observed certain customs or ventured into areas of Judaism I had previously ignored, would it have any discernable impact on my life? Would I feel better, more engaged, less inexplicably guilty about not doing stuff no one was pushing me to do anyway?
Asking if religion is good for women, as Moment magazine recently did, is like asking if music is good for men. There are no clear answers when asking about the relationship between an incredibly fluid concept with a rather broad category of living beings. Still, this doesn’t stop many of the contributors to the symposium from tossing off easy conclusions on whether or not religion is in fact good for women.
The three basic categories of answers are: no, it is inherently oppressive; yes, it’s always been good; and, the most common one, it used to be oppressive but is no longer.
Caroline Rothstein’s recent post, “Lost in Jewish No-Man’s Land,” made me want to write back. Yes, Judaism (and religion in general) is about “questioning and searching for meaning.” However, some of the comments in response to her post made another point. Rothstein recounts her journey as someone who has travelled and searched for Jewish congregations in a variety of places. She isn’t alone. Since getting married 15 years ago, my husband and I have lived in four cities and two countries. We have belonged to five shuls during that time and we’ve attended services at many more — in all varieties, as our family is some of everything: secular, Reform, Conservative, Orthodox and Lubavitch.
When my friend recently circled her husband-to-be, blindfolded by an opaque laced cloth, her mother and mother-in-law each holding a candle in one hand with her dress train in the other, I had a moment like many I’ve had throughout my life: I wished I were more religious.