We’re through with all of these blessed fall Jewish holidays. I don’t know about you, but it’s been kind of a whirlwind, holiday-wise: Rosh Hashanah, Shabbat, (The Emmys), Yom Kippur, another Shabbat, Sukkot, yet another Shabbat, and then Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah.
Contrary to what some of you may think, and in particular, antithetical to the angry poster who referred to my blogging here as “the Orthodox cult of Mayim Bialik,” I’m not Orthodox like a lot of people you know. I work in an industry that does not abide by the Jewish calendar. I don’t fit the mold of what a lot of Orthodox women look like, act like, or think like. I don’t live in a Jewish neighborhood and I’m about an hour’s walk from the nearest synagogue and mikvah. In addition, my children don’t attend religious school and most of their friends are not Jewish.
None of this stops me from being extremely frazzled when the secular world, which we are very immersed in and engaged in, does not match up with our calendar needs as a religious family. I’m not complaining about the choices we’ve made. Actually, that’s a lie. I am complaining a little bit, but for the purposes of this post, I just wanted to share this mini-rant.
It’s hard when, even as homeschoolers, classes are held on religious holidays. It’s hard when the goings on of the secular world are in direct conflict with the goings on of the religious one.
Every family has to make decisions that work for them and some years are easier than others (never before did I imagine how much I would hope that religious holidays would fall on Shabbat!). I understand more and more why people make decisions to live in exclusively Jewish communities, send their children to Jewish schools, and participate in social activities that revolve around the structure of the Jewish calendar. I suppose this mini-rant falls under the umbrella of galut (exile). The decisions I make and the decisions my husband and I make are decisions that are made under the pressure of exile.
Maybe someday, hopefully someday, these decisions won’t be as difficult. For now, I’m muddling through as best as I can and praying for the wisdom to know what I can change and what I can’t.