Jatholic Thoughts

February 27, 2009 at 6:11 am (Faith, Interfaith) (, , , )

Today is Friday, so if you’re Jewish, it’s the Sabbath.  (I guess it is for Seventh Day Adventists too, but I don’t know diddly about them).  Last Friday, we were at my sister-in-law’s place outside of Boston, so we ate Shabbat dinner with them.  And man, was it great…The food yes, but I’m not talking about the Chicken with 40 Garlic Cloves.*  I love the rituals of Shabbat…the candles, the blessings, the songs, the intellectual discussion of religion that seems to occur spontaneously and comfortably and naturally, the children’s involvement.  I just really love the Jewish rituals that are centered around the home.**  The Jewish meal is one example, but mezuzahs are another one.  They hold little pieces of scripture and are mounted to the wall, and you touch them upon exiting or entering the house.  OH! And the holidays!  The Passover Seder, Sukkot, making hamentaschen for Purim, playing dreidel at Hanukkah.  It’s really just a beautiful and rich faith tradition.

As I understand it, many of these rituals began with the diaspora.  I guess when you have to go underground and when you aren’t allowed to worship as a community for years and years and years, you do come up with some pretty nifty traditions.

What’s my point?  I don’t know, but wouldn’t it be nice if you could pick and choose the elements you liked from different religions?  So for example, you might pick mass, and Jesus, but Shabbat and that other stuff, along with yoga, and say, meditation.  Boy, that’d give a new definition to cafeteria Catholic, wouldn’t it?  I guess one of the benefits of being in an interfaith marriage is I do get to have that.  Sort of.  But do I need to find a Hindu and a Buddhist husband to round out my perfect religion?  And then aren’t I really a fundamentalist Mormon in Bizarro world?  (I should know better than to watch back-to-back Big Love episodes…)  Anyway.

I’m signing off until Monday…happy end of February!


*Totally serious that this is the name of the recipe…which I know because my sister-in-law asked me to start the meal for her when she got held up in town…Also totally serious that it was freaking fantastic.

**I’m really trying not to have the subtext here be “as opposed to communal services” but that’s another post, I guess…



  1. Emily said,

    It’s cool that you guys have figured out ways to incorporate both for yourselves and your kids. One thing I love a lot about Judaism is the discussion and debate (shocker) and how it is an integral part of faith. Also, I think yoga and meditation fit in well with Christianity, that they add things to your spiritual life 🙂

  2. batsinthebelfry said,

    We’re trying. It’s not a perfect balance, by any means…but the kids (and I, definitely) get so much out even the little that we do, that I know we’re on the right track…

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