Sunday, May 9, 2010
The award winning 'Fightin' Zebras'...and comparative Judaism
This Shabbat was a nice change of pace. I entered a female fellows team into AHA's ultimate frisbee tournament. We (the Fightin' Zebras) managed to win 1 out of 5 games because a team forfeited! We were awarded the spirit award, due to our awesome uniforms. I haven't had that much fun in a while.
Yesterday during the school wide picnic lunch outside, one of my girls asked one of the co-deans of Jewish life a question. She wanted to know what type of Jew she was. She was asking about the difference between Reform and Conservative Judaism. She determined that, at home in Mexico, her family was not Orthodox because she went to a synagogue that had mixed seating. I was sitting next to the two in conversation, and the Dean decided to ask me.
I almost started to laugh. I think this answer isn't such a simple one. I don't think I know the answer. She was specifically asking about what type of Jew she was based on tefillah. We talked about using instruments and hakol vs hameitim. That's as far as the three of us got because it was time for Birkat Hamazon. I think I would have talked more about Musaf, but I'm really not sure what else. In my little experience within Conservative settings, it also seems that Reform is more participatory, but I'm not sure if that's an accurate statement. Afterwards, the girl continued the conversation with me, more confused than ever. I ended it by just trying to stress that you don't have to pick one. Being Jewish is complicated, so why try to fit it into some little box that someone else has decided that works for them?
I don't think I was very helpful, especially because I don't know how to figure it out for myself.
In other news, it's hot here. My brain already thinks that it's summer. Only a few more weeks to go...