Despite being a Jewish educator, I have never felt a strong, personal connection to our sacred texts. I read the Tanakh as one reads literature, though this particular series of books had way too many underdeveloped characters and a very loosely held-together plot.
Can you hear it? They’re talking about us again. They’re theorizing and pontificating on us 20s and 30s, jumping to conclusions about our Jewish identity. They’re pointing to declining numbers in affiliation with synagogues and other institutions, and they’re afraid. Terrified, even.
As a kid, Shabbat meant brisket. I loved that. Every once in a while, my mother would get inspired and feel the need to… cook? No, she always cooked in those days. It wasn't until many years later that dinner was more likely to be ordered than made.
Tomorrow, my oldest child begins kindergarten, and I’m not sure who’s more nervous. My sweet, sensitive, 95-year-old-Jewish-man-trapped–in-the-body-of-5-year-old son has expressed numerous concerns, ranging from: “What if I don’t make friends?” to “Where will the bathrooms be?” I tell him not to worry, that it won’t be so different from his cherished preschool in my synagogue (where everyone knows him, where is he most comfortable outside of our home) - but I know it will be completely new and very different.