We’ll be celebrating the Jewish New year this week- and try as I might to ignore my husband’s insistence that all religions are clearly bunk- that you spend your whole life devoted to a deity you have no proof even exists, and that I need to come to terms with the undeniable fact that death is the end.
My husband is a scientist- he believes in evolution, he believes in only what he can touch and see and what science can uncover. He wasn’t raised particularly religious- he’s what we call a Yom Kippur Jew- aka a person of the Jewish faith who wears one of those pink yarmulkas he’s fished out of his wedding yarmulka collection from the 1980’s ( when he was a big on the I’ll be an usher at your wedding so I can meet a hot chick who will have drank too much and has wedding fever clouding her judgement about who she’ll agree to share a hotel room night cap with circuit) and steps foot in a synagogue on that one day to acknowledge in some small way the heritage into which he was born.
On the other hand I was raised in a very religious household, attended some serious religious school programs and whether it’s the guilt of being as he terms it ” fed more religious propaganda” or because as a kid- it feels good to have this belief that there is a larger presence presumably taking care of me- I bought into this whole Jewish faith and for a while it was what sustained me.
Fast forward many years, during which I let go of my long-held beliefs, and then once I had kids- those feelings of needing to give my kids an anchor (albeit my husband was convinced an imaginary man-made one) that would nourish them when I could not provide the answers I found my way to religion on my terms.
My husband, on the other hand, during our 14 years together- has unfortunately, at least for me- never been able to find any solace or comfort in a gd that he cannot be certain exists. And I have to admit I have been struggling with my own religious identity too- especially in the wake of my dad’s death which felt too sudden and so senseless.
It used to be when he’d present arguments for taking our kids out of their religious private school I could retort with a litany of reasons to keep them in– and since my dad passed- I admit I’m finding it harder to counteract his culled straight from the science diehard evolutionarists that this earth, this world, as crazy as it may feel is really all we have- that there is nothing after this- and so all these religious celebrations- regardless of which gd you subscribe too- are ultimately meaningless.
I am trying hard to keep going to keep holding on- to see this new year as a way to reaffirm my belief in a higher power and wanting desperately to believe that my dad is up there- smiling, watching and finally free of pain.