I was upset yesterday morning, wondering if I made the right choice to go to classes, feeling like I should be in services. Then I found this article on Haaretz (pointed out to me, in part by my parents). The final couple of paragraphs really spoke to me about how I relate to my religion, how I allow myself to have a full and jewish life that works on an individual level:
There’s an existential obligation in Judaism, something only an individual can do. Yet one can do it anywhere. If the synagogue isn’t doing it for you, try the park, the sea shore or the desert.
We can imagine we stand before God on Judgment Day and give an account of our year. We can see ourselves as specks in an eternal infinite universe. The crucial question is what we have done to try to experience what is beautiful in Judaism and in life, and what we have done to make the world a better place. This is indeed a chance for self-evaluation. Otherwise we just allow ourselves to be put off by all those officious, pompous and often corrupt holy rollers who claim to be speaking in the name of God.
A new year means a new try. Please don’t give up.
And in the end, though it would have been in one way very fullfilling to go to services, and wonderful to have been home eating with my family, I know I made the right choice. In one of my classes we talked about Brecht and Kushner’s Bright Room Called Day (which I hope to revisit in a post) and it was the theater I love and get excited about, and in another class I was able to get all the information for my first class paper. Things I’m glad to have not misssed. I would rather, obviously, not have had to make the choice but so be it. And the night was finished up with massive amounts of Italian food and wine at La Mela and 14 friends, old and new sitting around a table having a great time.