It's a Jew Thing

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

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Comment Reply

Hi All-
Just a quick response to a couple of my comments.

In terms of if I’ve ever wanted to the "rebel" and become less religious... I have really never wanted to become less religious, with the exception of the fact that I ride on Shabbat and my parent's don't. But yes, I did go through my little "rebellious" state which is actually quite funny since it isn't very rebellious at all... once at summer camp in like the 7th grade my friend and I got a staff member to get us a pepperoni pizza. I don’t know if it was the best thing ever because the pizza place was great, because we were so used to eating awful camp food, or because it was rebelling but that pizza was REALLY good. Don’t try to tempt me now though; I’m over the whole pepperoni craving.

To answer Kara’s two questions: I write G-d instead of writing out the whole word because there is something in the Torah that says you shouldn’t take G-d’s name in vain and that you should never write or say in unless its in prayer, and several other notes about the do’s and don’ts. There is actually a lot of debate about if the non-Hebrew writing of the word should be included but it’s just something I’ve always done. In terms of alcohol, with the exception of Passover (when you can’t have anything with yeast, i.e. beer), any kind of alcohol pretty much goes, except for ceremonies. For prayers and ceremonies and the like the wine you use must be Kosher, and it’s marked the same way that Kosher food is. And it is more than just Manishevitz. But, for example, my mom will say Kiddish (the blessing over the wine) with Kosher wine and then switch over to regular wine, that’s perfectly fine (good question though).

Lastly, next week’s post well start going into why I have really loved being Jewish and my experiences so the answers to all those questions are coming. Thanks!!


  • At 3:22 PM, Blogger Meredith said…

    That’s funny that you don’t write G-d either. That is the one thing I took with me from my Hebrew school career and it was not to write G-d's name in vain which translated into never writing it on any piece of paper. I have a funny story about that belief. I also went to a school with limited amounts of Jewish people and no Jewish teaches. A paper In English class I wrote included talking about G-d. Like I was taught I wrote G-d like I was use to. I got points taken off my paper in each spot I spelt G-d. I had to explain to my teacher how it wasn’t a spelling error, I knew what I was doing but I couldn’t write G-d as part of my religion. Maybe not very funny but at the time explaining that to my teacher was hilarious.

  • At 11:52 PM, Blogger Shayna said…

    That actually happened to me in college... not so funny story because it was a Jewish Studies class ad the teacher was Jewish but just believed that in english it didn't count and it was fine to write out G-d. He took points off and it was a big ol' deal and I had to go to the department to get my grade changed (thats the super short version).

  • At 1:52 PM, Blogger M. Fox said…

    Shayna...I enjoyed reading over your blog. It is nice to see someone so passionate about their religion. Your posts are insightful and a good way to educate others about the Jewish religion. By the way, HAPPY NEW YEAR.

    I was not able to make it home for Rosh Hashanah and because I have two exams next week, I will not be able to make it home next week for Yom Kippur. This really upsets my parents, especially my mother. I understand that these are very important holidays, but I also need to study and get good grades on my exams. I guess you could say that my religion is not my top priority at this time in my life. I do not want to feel bad about this but for some reason I do. Should I?

  • At 10:21 PM, Blogger Shayna said…

    Sorry that I haven't replied to your comment earlier. The holidays have put me a little behind in my work. Happy New Year. Although I am not a religious expert by any means (even though it might sound like it), I think one of the great things about religion is that there are so many different ways to practice. And just because you didn't get to go home doesn't mean you can't find some other way to practice- like going to services here or fasting on Yom Kippur, or even setting aside time in your mind to think about it- which I think you obviously have because you said it bothers you. And I think your priorities are fine the way they are, because everyone's different.

  • At 8:52 PM, Blogger reenaa said…

    2) It is interesting how you have maintained your religious identity. Even your “rebellious” state was anything but rebellious. I have never really found it difficult being Hindu because the best thing about Hinduism is you can do almost anything you like, and still be Hindu. I could be an atheist, an idol-worshipper, a believer in Karma alone, practice meditation and bhakti (prayer), etc. and still be Hindu. So, even as I am going through the learning phases of my life, the good thing is I can always remain myself. I did not have to worry about acceptance, and there was no one forcing me to go one way or another.

  • At 3:14 PM, Blogger megan Carter said…

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