I have never considered myself a very religious person, and have often questioned the actual existence of God. Of course I believe in “something”, but I am not a traditionalist who thinks that that something is a single God. Clearly this world that we live in is a miracle in so many ways, but I prefer to think of it as spiritual and scientific rather than religious.
Being Jewish is different though, and I have enjoyed my return to temple for the Holy Days since I have been together with my gorgeous husband. His mother was President, and sits proudly up on the bimah, as Honorary President for Life.
My husband and I visited Corfu Greece this past July and we visited the Jewish Temple there. It was small and quite beautiful upstairs. Downstairs sat a fat, hairy-faced, chain smoking woman named Ruthie. She told us the story of her temple, which now has only sixty members, and a visiting rabbi. All of the other Jews from Corfu have been killed (there were thousands at one time, most who were shipped off to concentration camps). There was a school for children, a full time rabbi, regular services. How sad to see a religion that has been scorned and almost totally wiped away, but how wonderful to see the few who remain, still hopeful and religious, still giving talks and trying to raise funds. Their children have all moved away to meet other young Jews, and hopefully to make Jewish families of their own. If they don’t, our Jewish faith will diminish even more than it already has.
Last night in temple I read that there are only thirteen million Jewish people in the entire world. I was shocked by this number, and even more so when I continued to read that eleven million of these Jewish people are in The United States and Israel. Our faith is almost gone, and it makes me want to be a part of it even more than ever.
On this Rosh Hashanah, I have prayed silently. I have prayed for:
Making more of every single day,
Being a better mother and a better wife and a better friend, a better person overall.
I have prayed for the futures of my children, whom I love more than life itself.
I have prayed for closer relationships with my family, and for more time with them and communicating more often and openly. I wish the same for my friendships, especially with friends that I don’t see regularly, but still love deeply.
Happy New Year to everybody, Jewish or not.
Reach out to somebody you love today. Tell them how you feel. Make a plan for the coming year, and how you can give back more to repay the lucky times you have had.