Personal Reflection On Being A Jewish

1166 Words 5 Pages
As a conservative Jewish teenager growing up in a Jewish community, it should have been easy: It should have been easy finding a place to belong among the Jewish youth like myself. It should have been simple wearing pants in the summer because the only summer camp that was available at late notice was an orthodox summer camp and it (would) not be a sign of disrespectful for me to show anything above my ankles. It should have been easy, going to Hebrew School every Tuesday and Sunday to learn about people whose thoughts and values I should-should have shared, but could not bring myself to agree with some of the basic tenets of Judaism. I did not know how to reconcile the fact that Judaism did not reflect my values on justice for everyone and …show more content…
I did not want to follow the path of Judaism that my father believed or my mother believed. I had always known that religion is was different in the eyes of everyone but, at a young age I didn 't understand what that meant. In other words, I didn 't understand that my own opinions were right for me, as long as I remained respectful to others’ opinions. I did not want to stay quiet and not express myself even at a young age, but I did. It should have been easy for me to be a conservative Jew, but to do so would mean that I would have to deny some of my more liberal thoughts and that would not be easy for me to do. So, I just remained …show more content…
Don 't wear jeans, don 't eat certain foods together, learn Hebrew, study Torah, come to services, marry a Jewish man and be the good conservative Jew they wanted me to be. It should have been easy to discuss things openly even if it made us uncomfortable, but when a boy in my class asked about gay marriage, he is promptly silenced because the Sunday school teacher said she wouldn’t discuss that kind of lifestyle in class. Martin Luther King Jr. states, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” I was silent for too long because I believed if I stepped out of the perfect box that conservative Judaism had me in, I would fall. I would fall, because so many times people have told me that religion is my support in life, and without a support I would have nothing. It felt lonely because my father religious and my mother and sister seemed to fit, but I didn 't. So I stayed quiet. I attended nine years of Hebrew school learning lessons about what kind of person I should be according to the Old Testament when I still didn 't know who I was or what I wanted to be myself. I had a Bat Mitzvah, read from the Torah and had fun at the party (I will admit that). But, I also realized, I would be a disappointment to my Rabbi and to my parents if I decided to end my Judaism

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