Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Ask Chaviva Anything: Am I a Religious Jew?

Not related to this post, but ... I highly recommend getting this book. 

Ah another rousing installment of Ask Chaviva (Almost) Anything, and I got a few doozies. Let's start with the easy, yet incredibly offensive one, shall we?

Are you deeply religious? This seems like an absurd question given your conversion journey however it seems as though you mention surface things of a Jewish lifestyle (cooking, kids, Shabbat) but not the joy/love you have for the Gd of Jews and the actual faith itself. I suppose what I’m attempting to say is that you seem to be culturally Jewish without being religiously Jewish.

Well hello there. Now, I could get super offended at how completely offensive your question is, because you've asked a question based on reading some blog posts and not seeing me in real life or knowing me or really digging into the thousands of blog posts I've posted about my relationship with HaShem (which, by the way, is meant to be deeply personal and private) or things beyond the superficial, but that would be an exercise in futility. 

Making a statement suggesting that I'm not "religiously Jewish" is, well, gosh. I don't even know where to begin. It's presumptuous, it's offensive, it's hurtful, and, if you're a Jew, then you're breaking quite a few mitzvot regarding converts

I am a married, full-time working mother to three kids ages 5, 2.4, and nearly 9 months. On top of that, I do marketing work for my kids' preschool and work other side hustles to help keep our family on the up and up. First and foremost, I'm a Jew. Then I'm a mother. Then I'm a wife. Then I'm an Israeli. Then I'm writer. And so on. Capiche? 

This is the period in basically every Torah-observant Jewish woman's life where she can barely find five seconds alone to use the bathroom, let alone to spend hours online writing about her deepest inner feelings about HaShem and what it means to be a Jewish woman and mother and how I can't seem to find the brain space and focus to formally daven. That being said, I cry out to HaShem daily ... for strength, shalom, guidance. 

So, before you go throwing around things like "Oh you sure seem like a cultural Jew, but not a religious Jew!" take a step back and recognize that I'm a real human with a real human brain and a real human life that is a whole heckuva lot more busy that you can possibly imagine. My religiosity is my business, not yours, not anyone else's. 

I'll also say that I am sorry for whatever it is that you're going through that you have to project these sentiments on me. We often project our greatest struggles onto others as a means of deflection, so I hope you find your peace and direction as well.

Oh, one more thing, this:

And now for the tougher one ...

Did you know you have a huge “Messianic” following? How do you feel about that and what do you think of their lying by omission to be in Jewish places (such as mikvas)?

Wait, WHAT?! No, I had no idea. How do you know this? Where do I find this following? How, what, where, when ...? I'm baffled here. 

Okay, now to compose myself ... I'm not sure that there is such a huge problem with these people making their way into mikva'ot, because that's such a personal experience it's not like they're influencing others while they're there. Messianics who go door to door or work their way into Jewish preschools or organizations and slowly plant materials and ideas among communities, that's what seriously bothers me. The sneaky factor of Messianics drives me nuts. I'm an advocate of being loud and proud about who you are and what you believe, not sneaking around and defining yourself by what you aren't or by some kind of mask of who you are. If Messianics want to be Messianics, they should own it and stop trying to sneak their way into people's minds. 

But seriously, who are these people and where is this following!?

Are you in imamother? Favorite topics?

I'm not. Should I be? What are YOUR favorite topics?

Want to ask me something? Try not to be an offensive jerk about it, okay? Ask away!