What Makes Me A Religious Jew? Essay

885 Words Nov 10th, 2015 4 Pages
Often I am asked what makes me a religious Jew. Does being it mean keeping the laws of Kashrut? (Jewish dietary laws) Does it mean keeping the Sabbath and the holidays?

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Traditionally, we are taught that a ‘frum’ person is someone who keeps the Big 3: Shabbat, Kashrut, and Mikvah and if you’re single that you intend on following the laws of family purity upon marriage.

I grew up in a Modern Orthodox, Zionistic home. My mother’s family has rabbis in our ancestry. My maternal grandmother has two ' grandfathers who were rabbis and her father was born in the Old City. My maternal grandfather grew up with a father who was a shochet. (A ritual slaughterer) My father’s family was not religiously observant. My father has told me that his paternal grandfather, his namesake was a Communist. There is a photo of my paternal great-grandmother lighting Shabbat candles. From what little I know about my father’s family, I know that they were not raised with the Torah knowledge that my parents received at home. My father’s parents became Torah observant Jews because they asked their children who were being sent to yeshiva if that’s what they wanted. At that time they did. So my mom and dad raised me to keep kosher, to keep Shabbat and to have a deep love for Israel.

I lived in a world where those three things made me religious.

In my early teens, I came to see that my father who I did not live with was no longer keeping Shabbat, but kept the kosher dietary…

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