It's a Jew Thing

What's it like growing up an observant Jew in a modern non-Jewish world? Read on...

Saturday, September 10, 2005

So the blog title needs some work but it was the best title my roommates and I could come up with ("Kosher, what what" was the close second). I am going to use this space to write about my experiences growing up as an observant Jew, especially in a city where there weren't any other Jews. I get asked questions all the time about what Jewish people believe and practice and what I think, so my friend suggested this would be a good way to get it all out there - answer some of my most asked questions and share some experiences.

My entire life I have lived in a small city in Massachusetts (with the exception of the last three years spent in college in Delaware). My high school pretty much had every kind of person, from every country and background but there were hardly any Jewish people there. What’s more, I was literally the only person who was “observant” in the practice of Judaism. For example my family keeps Kosher, doesn’t ride in a car in Shabbat, and goes to services on more than just the High Holidays – including all the other holidays which I stayed out of school for every year. I’ll explain what all of these things mean in later posts but to sum it up, as far as high school goes, among 4,250 diverse high school kids, I was weird. I couldn’t buy school lunch or go to the mall on Saturday afternoon – who’d think those were such things to miss but they were things that I could never do for the first 18 years of my life. And things that I had to make up my own mind about continuing to practice when I came to college.

2 Comments:

  • At 11:49 AM, Blogger Meredith said…

    Sounds like a very difficult situation to be faced with; at a time when being “cool” and “popular” was so important. I am Jewish but I’m not a practicing Jew. I also came from a city where there were not many Jewish people and at times it was difficult to try to explain because I didn’t know much about my own religion. The fact that you were at least able to explain to your peers what your religion and beliefs were about I bet helped you to a certain degree. On the other hand it must have been so hard on you to have to constantly defend and justify your actions. I really look forward to hearing about some in depth stories about your high school days. I also would love you know how your friends and peers interpreted your religious actions such as not going to the mall on Saturday afternoons. – Can’t wait to read more!

     
  • At 11:30 PM, Blogger reenaa said…

    I am glad you took the initiative and brought out a topic close to your heart and your local Jewish community. It is very obvious that it is a great part of who you are and has defined you in more ways than one. I know that there are Jewish people in India in a place called Dharamshala. Do you know anything about the migration of Jewish communities to different parts of the world? I am sure you do. I would love to hear a Jewish person’s perspective on how other Jews moved to India and how they mixed with the very diverse cultures there.

     

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