However, as time goes on, I worry for the movement. Spending time with 70 Reform Jews, many of whom are leading services every week, I preview the future of the Reform movement. And the future includes a lot more English, a lot less understanding, and a lot less observance. We’ve begun singing random songs at the end of services. Once and a while they have a connection to the service, but most of the time its simply a song with a nice melody. I can’t fully explain why that bothers me, but it really, really does. It just seems inappropriate…
My Conservative day school is finally catching up to me. I can’t sit during certain prayers, skip certain passages, or sing an English version of every damn prayer. Understanding the prayer is important, but the Hebrew is a part of our culture, our history, and our religion. We can’t ignore it. I also personally believe that the Hebrew makes it so much more poetic.
If someone were to ask me now what kind of Jew I am, I might respond with a cheesy, “My own Jew. Sort of Reform, sort of everything else.”
I’m still figuring out where I belong. But throughout this trip, I’m learning that my religion and spirituality mean so much more to me than I thought. I’m learning that I’m not as liberal as I thought. I’m learning that I really hate English in services unless it’s call and response. But I haven’t figured everything out. A common phrase in Israel is slowly, slowly, and that’s just how I’m going.”