Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Longings and Existential Loss


I wrote the below on the Empowering Ruth list serve....it is what I am feeling currently.....


I feel lucky to be able to host one Seder for what is left of my husband's family, some adult children and their friends. I am sad that I have been unable to find a 2nd seder for us to go to. Because I converted only a year ago at the age of 47, I feel a strong sense of wanting to make Jewish memories for me. this is something I do struggle with. With no babies to raise, no family/relative expectations to take into account religiousness and ritual is totally a personal expression. My husband is lovely and goes along with me on these adventures but when it comes down to it, why do we choose to do these things?.....Jewish Law? Tradition?..Guilt? ...Love? I realize I feel this odd sense of loss/grief at major holiday times. Not loss of what I left behind in a religious way, but loss of what I will never experience. I find some comfort in using the collective Jewish history for my own, doing holidays and rituals connects me to some history even if it is not a personal one. Other folks my age appear to be stepping back from fully engaging in these types of things...they did it for their kids, their parents. I am in a conservative community, this fits me philosophically, but in practice I feel different....I want to experience the totality of Jewish life....I joke with my husband that I am going to take up with the local Chabad....once again philosophically it wouldn't work, but it points out this schism I am experiencing. I feel somewhat at a loss in my community...but not sure what to do.

2 comments:

Melissa said...

Karen,

I understand your feelings. My prayer for you is that everyday brings you closer to Hashem and your new found home in Judaism.

Shalom!

Melissa

Dunking Rachel said...

thanks Melissa....

Hope all is well with you....

Karen

Dunking Rachael

Love, Faith and Life