As we came closer to the Get ceremony, my misgivings blossomed into full-blown dread. I started thinking about ways to sabotage it; coming down with chicken pox or lying about a sick mother and going to visit her.
I just finished reading the Pew Survey summary on how many Jews (especially younger ones) are no longer identifying Jewishly. I am trying to decide how much identifying I did in my twenties (none at all, or very little) though I went to my parents’ seders and lit candles for Hanukkah.
The thing about a synagogue is that Christianity may be old… but Judaism is ancient.
They say mezuzahs keep away evil spirits. Not like the ones in horror movies, but the monsters in our minds and hearts. And having just gone through a divorce, I know those monsters. They’re persistent. And real.
She was alone, scared and most of all longing for escape from a hardscrabble existence. She was living the life of quiet desperation we all hear about but try to push to the back of our minds.
Like Kerouac’s buddies, I too am in search of God. But if you asked me to check off the ways I find God—through observance, writing, holidays, relationships, shul or prayer I couldn’t answer.
My mother was like most American Jews in the sixties who wanted to hold on to pieces of the culture and assimilate at the same time. But why did she send me to an Orthodox day school?
“I looked up at her as she smiled. Those slender white fingers with perfectly polished nails were going out at night and washing dead people. What’s more, they were people Nancy knew. As she started cutting and layering, I knew I had to learn more.”
How do you create a wedding ceremony without a rabbi that honors your heritage when you’re not getting married to a Jew?
At this age, it is supposed to cause a minimum of pain and will never be remembered by the baby. At least that’s what some people say. But they also say lobsters don’t feel pain when they’re being boiled to death. I wonder if the lobster knows better.