The Sorrows of Young Werewolf (eyeteeth) wrote,
The Sorrows of Young Werewolf

Next year in Ontario

The way I generally describe my religious training is by saying that one of my parents is a lapsed Jew and the other a lapsed Protestant, and that I am therefore half Jewish and half Protestant but all lapsed. Independently my sister and I both discovered a quote from Jonathan Miller that we think describes us as well as anything can: "I'm not really a Jew, just Jew-ish." For a more comprehensive answer to the question of whether or not I count you'd have to ask Moses ben Maimon, or Rabbi Hillel, or Hitler.

We did Jew stuff when I was growing up; we lit the menorah on Chanukkah (or Chanookey as my sister and I call it), though the best part of this ritual was not the presents but betting on which candle would last the longest. On night one you had a fifty-fifty chance of being right but it got progressively more challenging as the holiday progressed. (On later nights the shamash candle always loses because the middle of the menorah is the hottest.) We also had seders during which I would ask the Four Questions in English, and usually crack up when my father said, very seriously, "I am glad you have asked these questions." But we never got rid of the leavened stuff in the house during Pesach, for example. As a child I didn't even know you were supposed to do that. I have never attended a synagogue or learned any Hebrew. My ignorance of the tenets and practices of Judaism is usually obvious to anyone who is an actual Jew, rather than just Jew-ish.

I realize that I am more or less an outsider Jew, as some people are outsider artists. I do what I can. For example my friend Alexis gave me a beautiful mezuzah and I really did try to affix it to the doorjamb of my last apartment, but that doorjamb must have been made of Reardon metal or something because it snapped my drill bit in half. And I would have liked to go to a seder tonight, but the only one I was invited to is in Canada and I couldn't make it. So I drew a stix about it instead.

Tags: jews, judaism, schtix, stix, teethfamily
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