Hello. I actually have 3 questions. What are your personal and family jewish practices? What aspect of Judaism is particularly attractive to you? What challenges do you think someone from the United States would have with being a Jew? What are your strategies for passing active religious beliefs to the next generation? Thank you!
I have a feeling my contact form is not working correctly on this website as I am noticing a lot of questions are not being sent to me and sorry that I just have seen this one.
No worries about the three questions and I will divide them accordingly.
What attracts me to Judaism?
As I have written before on the old Ask a Jew website, the reason I converted to Judaism is the same things that still hold true to this day. The first is the overall Jewish community is united and deeply cares about each other regardless of where you are from and so on. It is this large family so to speak which means it matters little where you are in the world you feel welcomed.
The second is G’d. When I was born I was baptised as a Catholic and as irony would go, as a child I wanted to become a Priest in Éire but there was something I could not understand about Catholicism or Christianity itself – why would G’d punish someone that was not even born? This idea of the original sin started to come across to me as a “method” to keep people in the Church.
For the rest of this question, I am going to answer using terms of the Catholic faith so my terminology does not get confusing.
The more I researched further into the Catholic Bible, the more it came across that Jesus was a man who wanted to help everyone – both Jew and Goy. Furthermore, it comes across to me that Jesus wanted to reform the faith.
It was due to this I decided to look solely at the Old Testament and it is from there I started to study the Torah and my interest in the Jewish faith came about.
What challenges do you think someone from the USA would have to be Jewish?
I can’t speak about the United States directly but in Europe, I think the biggest challenge is culture itself is swinging back to anti-Semitism being an okay thing to feel/
Passing religious beliefs to the next generation?
Education and adapting the Talmud is something that I believe will help the Jewish faith in the long run. We need to accept that people understand text differently in years to come and that the Talmud shouldn’t be a shut book now – we should still have debates on it and publish new findings as we go