As a public school child in the 70’s, my Valentine’s Day often ended in tears. I remember digging into my optimistically large brown paper bag in first grade to find only three envelopes, even though my mother had insisted I fill out mass-produced cards for every child in my class. “No one likes me!” I […]
If you’re new to Homeshuling, welcome! And if you’ve been reading my blog for the past year on its old home on wordpress, welcome to the All-New-Version-of Homeshuling! (Well, mostly all new. This post, not so much.)
Admittedly, the title of my blog is a wee bit
misleading. We are, in fact, members of a shul. And we do attend services every now and
then. Sometimes I even sneak out of the house and go to shul on my own. (Clearly, my definition of sneaky has changed substantially since I was a teen.) But I’ve discovered and rediscovered, too many times to count, that shul doesn’t really work for my family.
For one, my daughters are five and six. Too old to
while away the hours breastfeeding, but too young to spend the morning trying
to break into the vending machines the way I did when I was a kid. (Plus, our
shul doesn’t have a vending machine. Do any shuls have candy machines these
days?) We show up for “tot-shabbat” now and then, but it’s only once a month,
and it’s a starting to get a little too, well, tot-y for us.
Second of all, my husband is not Jewish. He’s not
anything else, either, but he’s definitely not of the tribe. Since he doesn’t
read Hebrew, didn’t grow up with the melodies, and isn’t particularly
interested in the Bible, there isn’t much going on within the four walls of the
synagogue that is accessible or meaningful for him. It’s more important for me that our family be together on Shabbat, and all feel good about where we are, than for us be at shul.
Mostly, though, almost everything I love about
being Jewish happens at home. There’s the food, of course, and the making of
the food. And the talking about the food. (Remember the Jackie Mason bit –
“At lunch, Jews talk about dinner; after dinner they talk about where to get
coffee, and after that, where to get cake….?” That’s totally us.) There’s lifting up our daughters so they can reach the shabbat
candlesticks that belonged to my mother’s grandmother; or watching my daughters
play Pharoah and the Jews with their Polly Pockets after reading PJ Library
books about Passover; lying side by side in our sleeping bags, staring at the
stars, while trying to fall asleep in the sukkah (and never quite making in
through the night); and all the other precious moments I’ll be blogging about.
these days we may find a shul that gives us all that. But for now, we’re
home-shuling. I hope you’ll visit us here from time to time. And don’t forget to introduce yourself!