Monday, June 7, 2010

I'm A Jewish Imposter

I have never held a Torah. The closest I have gotten to a Torah is kissing it through the mad rush at High Holy Days services. I do it, and I make my children do it, but I'm not even sure why.
Does this make me a Jewish imposter?

I have other books which I use for spirituality, other readings, and other prayers that I say, because I can understand them. They all have to do with believing in and trusting God's will for me, but I feel nothing when I hold them and they aren't very special. They are not based in any religion, and you can buy them in any Barnes and Noble.

I often feel like a hypocrite when I stand up every time the arc is opened, sit down when it's closed, and when I recite prayers in Hebrew which I have memorized (and I'm not even sure what they mean and if I'm even saying them correctly, so I whisper).
This usually brings me shame (what else is new?)

Should I continue to go undercover, or should I start looking into the Torah?


marsigore said...

I find myself nodding as I read your post. I too recite the prayer, almost by rote and they too hold very little meaning for me other than making me a participant rather than an observer.
I find the dedication of the scribes who produce the Torah to be amazing and feel a connection among generations that have read from and studied the Torah. For the past 2 years I have attended the Saturday morning Torah study (some months with more regularity than others!) and find it very interesting and it helps me understand a lot more about Judaism; the good, bad and ugly.

Sue Gould said...

Like yoga or anything else, the more you do it, the more natural it feels until finally it feels like a part of you. I grew up at a conservative temple where I seem to recall that the entire service (with the exception of the rabbi's sermon), was conducted in Hebrew. When I first started attending reform services, were unfamiliar to me but the first time I heard Cantor Doug sign "Listen", I knew that Or Ami's music was beckoning me. Then I became familiar with the tunes - finding the message through the music. Some prayers/songs are mournful, others joyful and uplifting. You are not an imposter. Your just a newbie. Cut yourself some slack - this is just new for you.