I had a bagel for breakfast today. Normally, that wouldn’t be a big deal. Maybe not the wisest choice, given the tagline of my blog– but not such a big deal, either.
Except that I’m Jewish, it’s Passover, and I’m not supposed to be eating bagels. I’m supposed to be eating Matzoh. So I’m feeling a bit guilty. Mind you I don’t feel guilty the rest of the year when I eat cheeseburgers (I’m not “supposed to” mix milk and meat), lobster (no bottom feeders, either), or fry up some bacon on a Saturday morning. (Too many “not supposed to’s” to count.) I’m not a religious person at any time during the year. My husband and I even belong to a Humanistic Synagogue, which celebrates and affirms the cultural and ethnic aspects of Judaism, without all the higher power stuff.
I’m not kosher ; I almost never go to synagogue (even the Humanistic one); and though my family and I do celebrate Shabbat most Friday nights, it’s about a two-minute ceremony, after which I may serve roast loin of pork. Seriously.
I feel guilty for eating a bagel. -Click to read more about what a bad, bad, Jew I am!>
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I belong to a Humanistic Jewish Congregation. Basically, that means that it’s Judaism without the Hocus Pocus. It’s cultural, ethnic, historical, can’t escape who we are and don’t want to Judaism. And today, Rosh Hashsana, I was asked to address our congregeation for the New Year. Here’s an edited version of my talk.
Happy New Year.
That’s TV host Stephen Colbert’s for “the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true.”
When Colbert first coined the word on his show he used the Iraq War as an example. “The facts may have proved us wrong.” He said. “But didn’t the invasion just feel right?”
Truthiness, then, is the opposite of skepticism. Where a skeptic questions the validity of things that can’t be proven true, – like, say, that a certain Alaskan governor is ready to be Vice President — the Truthi-ac just plain likes her.
Truthiness is also completely antithetical to Jewish tradition. We don’t just feel things and then decide they are so. We scrutinize, we agonize, we analyze. There are endless debates about everything from whether or not one can eat rice on Passover, to whether we light the menorah from right to left or left to right, to whether or not pastrami on white is a punishable offense.
As Humanists we question everything. I once read that the believer only has to justify the existence of God, and the atheist the existence of everything else. Well, for many of us, that leaves everything else. (more…)
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