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Wednesday, February 18, 2004

I'd Go For Judaism

As regular readers will know (and, as I'm the only reader, I guess no one knows other than me) I am not religious.

I have always been a little disappointed by my lack of faith, to be honest. I figure that if I had some faith in A Supreme Being, I'd be less anxious. I'd be able to take a plane without thinking "there is no way that thing is gonna stay in the air", cos I'd know that The Supreme Being had my back. I'd know that being good would mean that good things would happen to me. And I'd know that good people wouldn't die young and, that if they did, they'd go to heaven.

Sadly, I am too logical and unable to take a leap of faith.

From time to time, I wonder what it would be like if I did have religion. And I think about which one would be best to have. After many years of consideration, I have decided there is only one option: Judaism.

It's a religion with a lot going for it.

Yiddish, for one. How can you not like a language which has got words like "schmuck", "kvetch" and "shalom"? Which other religion has its own language? Answer: none.

Then you've got Hebrew. You get to read backwards. I think that's a fairly good thing to be able to do. If I could learn that, my (already strong) eaves-reading skills would be vastly improved. I would be able to read pretty much anything on my Chief Executive's desk, rather than the mere 75% I manage at present.

You get a Rabbi. And every rabbi I have seen (admittedly not all that many) look very wise. If I had a problem, some doubts, or some anxieties - hey - I've got a rabbi to deal with it. That looks like a good deal.

Here's what else you get: an identity. Even if you're a non-practicing Jew, the fact that you are Jewish means something. Unfortunately, it's a sense of identity created through awful persecution and joint suffering.

See, now, the whole identity issue means that - in my humble opinion as someone who knows very little about any of these issues - that you can't convert to Judaism. I mean, I know that technically you can, but it seems to me that to be Jewish means more than converting. In my opinion, it's something you're born into - a culture. And I wasn't born into it.

But, I have to say, if I had to pick a religion: I'd go with Judaism.

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