Thursday, September 13, 2007

Happy New Year.

I really don't enjoy this time of year. For those who don't know, we are currently celebrating the Jewish New Year. Although I am Jewish, I was not raised with much of a Jewish influence, so it is all quite foreign to me. My husband's family is not religious, but they believe in maintaining the culture, which is why we endure two days in the synagogue, two meals where we eat until we feel ill, then a 24 hour fast complete with another day in the synagogue, then a breaking of the fast that usually takes place at my house at 9 pm, where we eat until we feel ill once again. If that was all there was to it, I probably wouldn't complain, but there are always the added stresses that come along with this whole ritual. The problem for me with going to our particular synagogue is that it is meaningless to me. For one thing, the service is in Hebrew, so I am essentially taking up space during most of the service. There is an English sermon, but I have missed it so many times because J won't let us leave the house early enough to actually get there in time for it. In fact, I would say that 80% of the fights we have had have been a result of him making us late for these services. He doesn't want to go, but he goes to make his parents happy. We don't ever see his parents there because the place is packed, so we could easily make his parents as happy by just telling them that we went. I'm sure this idea is sacrilege, but it's true, nonetheless. So we get there quite late, miss the only understandable part of the service, have to park at least a 15 minute walk away, only discover that we can't get a seat, despite having spent over $1000 just to get these tickets for attending the services on these specific days. Non-Jewish people usually gasp when they hear that part. I would feel so much more spiritually complete if I could give that money to ANY charity. Once we discover that we can't get seats, we wander around to all the other services in the building, trying to find a place where we can sit for an hour so we can (???) So we spend a pile of money for tickets to an event that neither of us wants to attend, and that neither of us understands, just so we can please two people who don't actually witness our attendance. I have a difficult time with this. The English sermon is probably only important to me because it is the only possible opportunity for me to justify this entire process. I might be moved.

I am in no way trying to cast disrespect upon the culture/religion. I am sure there are many who love this time of year and who eagerly adhere to the ritual of praying, feasting, praying, fasting, praying, and feasting again. I am just a little resentful of the way I am forced to participate. I am not willing to start any sort of fight within J's family over this. This is what they do, so it is what I will do. I'm still gonna complain though.

3 comments:

deb said...

I wasn't going to say anything but A THOUSAND BUCKS! There I'm done. And I feel better.

Naomi (Urban Mummy) said...

Sounds like you need to find your own way, and, perhaps, a different synagogue.

Where do you go? And if your inlaws don't go to the same place, why have you chosen to go there, if I may ask?

Shanah Tovah regardless! (And I'm having people here tonight, too. I guess I shouldn't be on the computer! )

Alley Cat said...

Naomi,

You are right about the different synagogue idea, but my husband wants to stick with his, feeling that it matters to his parents. They do go to the same one as us, but we just never see them there since it is so crowded. It is not a battle that I want to have since I don't bring a heck of a lot of Jewish-ness to the relationship, so I am following his lead...for now.