Goldie: Buddhist, Jew, Jesus Freak

'For the rest of my life, everything I do has to be with good intentions.'

She made me a cup of tea, and she picked up the phone and called the school and went completely insane. She said, "How dare you show our children these things?" As the years went on, I was consistently frightened by this and there were times I wouldn't go to school when I knew there was going to be an air raid drill because of what the sound did to my psyche. When I realized this fear, this uncertainty, this potential of dying, I guess I needed something greater to hold onto than what we can see, touch, and smell-and that was the spiritual aspect of God, the nature of God and his relationship to humans.

It was my clear wish to be happy, and I think that wish came from the idea that I was suddenly made unhappy by this event and realized that I wanted to go back to my natural state of happiness. I wanted to find a way to get myself out of it. So I started reading the Bible. My mother loved the Bible.

The Hebrew Bible or the Christian Bible?

We had the Old Testament and the New Testament.

I know your mother was Jewish-was your father also Jewish?

My father was Presbyterian.

But you identify as Jewish?

Listen   Goldie on being Jewish


Well, when you have a Jewish mother who has a very strong Jewish family, it's very ethnic in its practices. Eating brisket, the food and the family and the interconnectedness for better or worse. The intertwining of the family is a big part of the Jewish way of life. whereas the Presbyterians are whiter. They don't have the same sense of family, although I have a very big and strong family on my dad's side. But it's not quite the same. It's like being Greek or Italian, you know what I mean, having this kind of ethnicity. So clearly my father's belief system was not wrapped around anything other than his own philosophical nature. He wasn't anyone who blindly had faith; he was a searcher, a seeker, and a philosopher.

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Interview by Deborah Caldwell
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