The Wife and I are wandering Jews. Literally, we’ve wandered in our efforts to find a synagogue for our kids to attend Hebrew school. As a reformed agnostic atheistic Jew, I’m sort of ambivalent. But not totally ambivalent. I agree with The Wife that they should attend Hebrew School. But the synagogue here where many of our friends go strikes me as McSynagogue—in, out, people attending more for the social than the religious. And yet, why should I care? I’m not even religious. And I certainly don’t want to join a conservative or (dear God) orthadox joint.

So today, searching for a spark, we took the kids to Rosh Hashanah service at a new local Chabad The Wife had heard about. According to their website, they’re a wide-open Jewish group of varied sects and beliefs. Sounded good.

Then we got there. First, it was held in an abandoned boat store. Which was odd. Second, the men and women were separated (By a line of plants, no less). Third—and this is a consistent criticism of Jewish services, no matter where I’ve gone—there was no spunk. Zero, zip. Here you are, loving God and praising God and singing for God, and it sounds like so: Mrrrr … mrrrrr … mrrrrrrr … mrrrrr … mrrrrr … mrrr. It made me long for the black Baptish church I’ve never attended, with a large woman belting out praise for Jesus and Michael Irvin and T.D. Jakes screaming, “Amen! Amen! Amen!” Seriously, we Jews are so dull, it’s maddening.

Hence, I’m never happy. Because while I’m uncertain about God, I am certain that God probably doesn’t respond to a bunch of really dull people mindlessly reciting the same ol’ prayers from an ancient book.

5 thoughts on “Rosh”

  1. “Because while I’m uncertain about God, I am certain that God probably doesn’t respond to a bunch of really dull people mindlessly reciting the same ol’ prayers from an ancient book.”

    The Jews (and not solely the Jews) compare the relationship between God and his people to the relationship between a parent and a child.

    I would hope that you, as a parent, would not choose how you respond to your children based on how dull they are, particularly if they are dull but sincere.

    Neither, I think, does God.

  2. I was raised Catholic, but I can completely relate to this. Our services are just as dull (but at least I never had to sit through an entire service in Latin!) When I was little, I used to daydream about attending a Baptist church like the ones I saw in movies and singing in a gospel choir. It seemed like so much more fun than the boring services I had to attend.

  3. God really doesn’t care about the show, or the rituals. He wants those that want him and need him.

    Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
    Luke 18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
    Luke 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
    Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

    It was the same in the Old Testament.

    Isaiah 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

    Today the message seems to be, “buy into our church and you’ll be saved.” Or, “join up with us and you are saved.”
    It is the buying and selling system of salvation. They wish to sell you their organization, or method. All you have to do is buy into it and you are saved.
    In my opinion salvation is 100% dependent on the mercy of God, not who, how, or what you join up with.

    Romans 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

    I really think God will be very angry with those that worship with their lips and ceremonies and not from their heart. Doesn’t matter whether their lips are solemn or dancing and rolling on the floor.
    If there is no desire to change, you are in trouble.

    Psalms 34:18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

  4. I am suprised to hear this as I always thought Jewish ceremonies had a lot of spark?

    The Bar Miotzvahs I have been to were a blast as were the weddings. I am not jewish but I told my wife I wanted to do the whole thing where the bride and groom get held aloft in their chairs (she kiboshed it)

    I saw a telethon once where there were a bunch of Rabbis dancing and it looked like they were pretty into it. I guess unless you have lived the minutae of someonelse’s faith you never really know?

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