Monday, August 11, 2008


This past weekend, my entire family went on a camping trip.  We stayed in a cabin a few miles away from Seward, and it was incredibly beautiful.  I was glad that I had finally learned some of the blessings for experiencing the natural world.  Knowing that I'd probably forget (and I did), I decided to bring my siddur with me.

I had plenty of opportunity to say baruch atah adonai, eloheinu melach ha-olam, sheh-a-sah et ha-yam ha-gadol and baruch atah adonai eloheinu melach ha-olam, shekahcha lo baolamo and baruch atah adonai, eloheinu melach ha-olam, borei atzei v'samim.  It felt good, like a mitzvah should.

I also packed my Shabbat/Havdallah set, because I didn't feel right being away from it on Shabbat.  I wasn't sure if I'd use it, since my family is uninterested in Jewish ritual, and I didn't want to deal with an argument from my mother.  Still, something in me said to bring it.  As it happened, the cabin was very dark as day turned in to night on Friday, and everybody wished we had some candles.  

Since I had mine, I brought them out.  I explained to my mother what my ritual items were and what their symbolism was.  I silently said the bracha over the candles, and lit them.  I explained the wine and the bread to mom, as well, and she seemed fairly receptive.  I don't think she would have been as positive if I had said the blessings out loud, but, at the same time, I did not do anything that was contrary to was just different.

It was a good experience.  Mom still hasn't heard the word "conversion" from me, and I have not denied Christ to her yet.  Thus far, she is tolerant, but I am concerned that my Judaism would somehow disappoint her.  Her beliefs are well-intentioned and deeply held, but they are ultimately fundamentalist.

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