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.