Posted on: October 19, 2012
Boredom. Uninspired. Lost. Unmotivated. Empty.
Those are things I felt after Rosh Hashanah. I lamented to my Rosh Chodesh group and when the words left my lips, thoughts I hadn’t voiced to anyone let alone a group of virtual strangers, (it was my first meeting)I felt a rush of emotions. I felt guilt and relief at the same time and as the confession echoed in my ears I felt concerned. How could I experience such a spiritual 180? Last year on Rosh Hashanah the sound of the shofar brought tears to my eyes and this year I was distracted and restless-I flipped anxiously through the machzor and felt angry there were so many pages remaining. I scanned the thousands of daveners-what were they wearing?, who were they with?, oh isn’t that baby cute? and checked the clock frequently. I even thought about leaving.
As I started voicing this confession to my Jewish friends I got the same answer-Congratulations, you’re officially a Jew.
Unsatisfied with this assertion I was determined to focus inward and really tap into spirituality on Yom Kippur.
Except it didn’t happen.I felt the same sense of boredom and the entire experience lacked any level of spiritual fulfillment. As I pounded my chest in community confession I felt tears try to creep out of my tear ducts, though they were tears of fear-Why didn’t I feel anything?
Hoping to remedy the problem I rushed to shul for Friday night service after Yom Kippur and waited to feel spiritually fulfilled. It never came so I haven’t been back.
What the eff is going on in this post-conversion nightmare?!
I should say that while I’ve feeling spiritually and religiously empty, I have been feeling fulfilled in other areas of my Jewish life. I’m working closely with Chava at Not A Contradiction and other Jewish Multiracial Network volunteers on advocacy work, I’m writing for various Jewish publications and have been invited to participate in a Jewish roundtable, I work for a Jewish non-profit, I’ve started studying Hebrew again, I’m planning a trip to Turkey and have already located and mapped out several Jewish communities there, I’ve hosted Shabbat dinner in my home for friends and light candles every Friday night with my partner. And let’s not forget the biggie-I’m Jewish!
But when it comes to my personal spirituality I feel lost.
I look at the gold upside down mezzuzah* on my doorpost every time I walk in and out of our home and feel sadness, I forget to pray Modeh Ani in the morning and barely remember the Sh’ma at night. It could simply be that my Jewish life has taken on a direction towards advocacy and action, but if this is so why do I feel so much guilt?
Yesterday HuffPost Live Tweeted the following question: “Does not practicing a religion represent an absence of faith in god, or in institutions?” My 160 character answer was : “It depends on how you define “practicing” I consider myself a practicing Jew, but that doesn’t mean I always attend synagogue.”
What do you think?
I’m still contemplating going to synagogue tonight and I’m not quite sure if I’ll go or not…the trying to be okay with that is the hardest.
*Drank too much wine before the rabbi came for our house blessing and accidentally hung it upside down. We sort of like it that way…and it’s nailed to the doorpost;)