Monday, March 18, 2019

I'm still on the fringe, after all these years :(

You might as well start with my Tuesday, August 07, 2018 post, "Observance vs. the freedom to make my own decisions."

That's a pretty good summary of the intellectual reasons why I decided not to become observant.

That and the following major details:

~ My concept of G-d is somewhere between collective effervescence and agnosticism--I can't prove that G-d exists, but I can't prove that G-d doesn't exist, either.

~ Longtime readers of my blog--assuming that there are any left--know that I believe in the Documentary Hypothesis, rather than in Torah Mi-Sinai.

But if you want to know the emotional reasons, you should start with my Wednesday, November 07, 2018 post, "Community."

There was a point in my life, perhaps seven to ten years ago, when I was really trying hard to become at least some reasonable semblance of observant.  Unfortunately, this effort put me in a rather anomalous position.  On one hand, by seven to ten years ago, most of the observant members of our congregation had died, making me one of the few members of our synagogue who prayed three days daily.  On the other hand, I was also almost always the only woman in the congregation who prayed while, as they might say in current parlance, "wearing a tallit and tefillin while female," a practice that generally does not endear one to most observant Jews.

In theory, the Conservative Movement should be the natural home for "halachic egalitarians."  But, in practice, I, personally, haven't seen much evidence to support that theory.  As someone who grew up in a Conservative synagogue and who has been a member of another Conservative synagogue for over 30 years now, my personal experience has been that most halachically-observant Jews are not egalitarian and most egalitarian Jews are not halachically observant.

In the final analysis, I gave up trying to become observant because I got almost no support from my own community, and, even though I'm a long-time tallit-and-tefillin-wearing woman, there's a limit to how much I'm willing to "go it alone"--being on the fringe gets lonely after a while.

See also my May 5, 2019 post, Seeking a more-joyful Judaism.



Anonymous Kid Charlemagne said...

as they say,
you gotta do your thing, otherwise da thing does you

Sun Mar 24, 11:22:00 AM 2019  

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