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OOC: What is Judaism to me?

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Salmia

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Judaism is almost something I can't describe, it is something it is tangible in a way and it isn't in another way. How do you describe something that seems so much a part of you that you don't distinguish as a different part of you?

A religion can be applied to whatever extent the believer believes in it. It is all in the mind, it is not something you can actually touch. There is no defined pretext for you. Yet how do I explain how I feel Jewish as a distinct and very real part of me?

When I was 13 years old and about to have my Bat Mitzvah, I wasn't sure if I believed in Adonai and how could I stand up in front of an entire synagogue and say all these prayers if I wasn't sure if I was believing in what I was saying? My rabbi told me something that I've always carried with me ever since, she told me that questioning my religion was a part of developing what Judaism meant to be. Judaism allows you to question the very basis of what it is. They didn't tell me what to believe, I was allowed to explore every topic possible.

So what is Judaism to me? It is not even a religion, it is a culture and a people close to my heart. When I come together with people here, there is something that touches me and that makes me want to make a better world and be a better person.

Judaism itself means to me to giving to other people, being the best person you can be. A community and a home that you can find anywhere. I've moved to Minnesota to Virginia and found a home here. No matter where you go, you find yourself welcome among other Jewish people. They're always giving and always willing to accept you into the community.

It is not even a religion, it is a part of me. It is a part of community, the principles are a part of who I am. It is ingrained in me, to help others, to be kind, to make a better world. It gives me faith when the world is in a tough place.

I've been placed in positions where people questioned why I wasn't converting to Christianity and going to hell. And I can only give them one answer: it is ingrained in me. It is part of me and the community. It is not just a religion, it is a heritage and something that I cannot just give up.

Judaism isn't just a religion, it offers a home and a people. I've seen myself welcomed in different communities with Judaism. I've seen people being hostile to me but no matter what I go, in the Jewish community, people have always opened their arms. I have rarely seen that out in the real world.

Judaism is a way of life and a set of beliefs to guide yourself by. It makes you a piece of the puzzle of a bigger world. It is about making a sukkot, it is about giving mazel tov to others, it is about remembering the past, it is about making the world a better place. It is about giving all you can and treating others as you want to be treated.

It is a way of life, not just a religion. It is a integrated part of me and that is something we all choose, what level it impacts us but for me, it is simply me.

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Religion is an excuse for hate, war and murder just as much as a common bond between strangers.

I am Australian, being Australian has its own culture.

No matter where I go, I will always bump into another Australian and they will always be friendly and kind to me.

Australians are all over the world.

I don't think any wars are being fought in the name of Australia though, no murder, no hate.

Being Australian carries all the benefits and none of the downfalls of religion.

o/ Australia

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As the first poster said, this is the case for basically all religions.

I myself are agnostic, so I have a neutral opinion on most religions. This makes it possible for me to see the bad sides of religion too, which there are plenty of.

Anyway, I'm quite happy you feel this way about your beliefs.

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I am not sparking a debate over religion, these are MY beliefs and I am not preaching for anyone else pick up. ;)

Ya, I understood that, which is why I didn't argue. :P

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Mia says: "I've been placed in positions where people questioned why I wasn't converting to Christianity and going to hell."

Look at this way: it wouldn't be hell without you!

But seriously, this is a very nice reflection. I'm so proud to know you!

o/ Jews!

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"I've been placed in positions where people questioned why I wasn't converting to Christianity and going to hell."

*facedesk* Pascal's wager is such a moronic argument.

Anyway, interesting read Mia :)

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I am Australian, being Australian has its own culture.

No matter where I go, I will always bump into another Australian and they will always be friendly and kind to me.

Australians are all over the world.

I don't think any wars are being fought in the name of Australia though, no murder, no hate.

oook, then see if this statement makes sense: "I am American, being American has its own culture. No matter where I go, I will always bump into another American and they will always be friendly and kind to me.... I don't think any wars are being fought in the name of the United States though, no murder, no hate."

Nope. Not a whole lot of sense...same as your statement

By the way, Australia is fighting wars in these places.

...and good for you Mia haha :P

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Religion is an excuse for hate, war and murder just as much as a common bond between strangers.

I am Australian, being Australian has its own culture.

No matter where I go, I will always bump into another Australian and they will always be friendly and kind to me.

Australians are all over the world.

I don't think any wars are being fought in the name of Australia though, no murder, no hate.

Being Australian carries all the benefits and none of the downfalls of religion.

o/ Australia

I am not going to start debating this with you because this is not about that at all.

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I am not going to start debating this with you because this is not about that at all.

See, Mia, the problem is, while God knows everything, Jack knows everything better. No use in arguing with him.

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See, Mia, the problem is, while God knows everything, Jack knows everything better. No use in arguing with him.

Haha, no use debating, because we have God on our side, and God knows everything.

If I had a pound for every time I've heard that.

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"I've been placed in positions where people questioned why I wasn't converting to Christianity and going to hell."

*facedesk* Pascal's wager is such a moronic argument.

Anyway, interesting read Mia :)

Because Pascal's Wager is the only reason someone might say you'll go to hell.

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