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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Two Year Anniversary in Heresy

Rosh Hashanah marks my second year of rejecting Judaism. So this is a special day for me. It is also interesting that I gave up Judaism during Rosh Hashanah, a time of the year where people are supposed to feel closer to Judaism. I still remember what I did during Rosh Hashanah. I was reading Thomas Paine's "Age of Reason" still when I was a believer. But I was already a really bad believer, I needed further reassurance from someone, I decided to read Paine. In the middle of reading Paine I finally concluded, after long time spend on skepticism, many many months, that the fundamentals to Judaism are vile and repulsive. So I took a Chumash in my hands and expressed my heresy, "this book is wrong, what it teaches is wrong, it is falsehood, and it is also evil". Something to this effect. That was it. I finally gave up Judaism. I was a little scared to do that, but I did, two years ago.

By the time Yom Kippur came about I was already a non-believer. But I went to shul on Yom Kipper (actually I was at shul on this Rosh Hashanah too, but I did not daven, of course). I still davened on Yom Kippur though it was really hard for me. Each time I read a verse I kepted on thinking why I disagree with it and why it is non-sense. I also realized the entire scene in shul is kinda stupid. People dressed funny and praying to imaginary beings, so it was hard for me to sit through all of that. But I was not able to stay for the whole service. The bowing down part was too much for me. I had to leave, I could not possibly bow down. Jewish people say that no one can ever bow down to a false god, that is idolatry, and I agree, since there are no gods it means we can never bow down to any. I was not able to be at shul for that. I got up and left.

Jewish people have a really tough time understanding that it is hard for secular Jews to "just say the words and sit in shul". No, it is not so simple. It is hard to say those words and hard to be at shul if you do not believe in those words. It is understandable that a non-religious Jew who is interested in being a religious Jew can "just say the words", because they do not bother him. But if you are a secular Jew those words really bother you, and it is hard to say them.

1 comment:

  1. Jewish people have a really tough time understanding that it is hard for secular Jews to "just say the words and sit in shul".

    It says something about their intellectual honesty, in my opinion. They're perfectly comfortable pretending because they do it all the time.

    Yom Kippur is kind of my unofficial "anniversary." Not because I left on Yom Kippur but because I always hated it -- hated the fasting, hated sitting in shul all day, hated smelling the BO of people sitting near me in shul, hated the davening that was so long it couldn't possibly be meaningful. Now when YK rolls around I feel a profound sense of freedom and joy and it's a happy holiday for me. I don't do anything for it -- I don't take off work or eat something special or engage in any ritual -- but I just feel myself smiling about how great it is to be free.