Monday, June 19, 2006

Summer Break

Does it make sense to take the summer off from organized religion just as you do from school? I’ve been thinking a lot about this recently, especially in light of the fact that our rabbis at Temple Micah pretty much turn the Shabbat morning services over to lay-persons during the summer.

The issue of attending services has always perplexed me. I grew up as a Presbyterian, where we went to multiple services on Sunday year around. There was no break for Sunday school in the summer. I’m sure there were many members who attended church services on Christmas and Easter, but they were not GOOD members.

When I married into Judaism, I found a completely different attitude. Some of the best and brightest Jews attend services only on the High Holy Days – Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. My husband explained that Judaism is a home-based religion that doesn’t demand attendance at services. It doesn’t require an intermediary to access God.

I keep asking myself what would happen if God took the summer off? What if he just let the sun stay in the sky and not set or stopped the seasons in their tracks? We mortals would definitely take notice! Does he then not notice if we become summer slackers?

I’ve been rethinking my own observance of Shabbat in light of my last two weeks. I didn’t attend services, but I made a point of stopping my normal routine and just relaxing in a way that felt so good. It’s a 24-hour break that leaves me recharged for another week. There definitely is something to this idea of making Shabbat different from the other days.

My ideas about religion are constantly evolving. I always have more questions than I have answers. I’ll continue to ponder summer observance of Shabbat, especially as I prepare to read from the Torah on July 15.


Blogger Mother of Invention said...

My views change and evolve too. I was baptized and confirmed in United, and married in Anglican. Going to church,or temple regularly doesn't always mean that person is a good person or supporter of that religion. Many sit in the same pew each Sunday and I know it is hypocritical because they do not "Live" their religion on a daily basis..indeed, they may not be the kindest people at all. It is more a state of mind and your own personal relationship with your religion, your creator or whatever that is most important to me and is more real and meaningful.

I like some parts of Buddhism actually for its inclusiveness of many religions and I love the Dalai Lama! He is a truly sweet good person. I love his smile and laugh!

Well, just my thoughts for today!

9:54 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Don't know what I believe any more, but I still believe in something. My God of summers lived in the woods, near a waterfall between some crooked trees. I used to think that God went camping in the summer. Maybe he still does and I'm the one who has been slacking.

10:23 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

If you celebrate Shabbat at home, something I'm certain Toby and Danny must do, then you're not a slacker, eh?

Personally I love our co-created, lay-lead Shabbats. We create peace while drinking and shopping. It's beautiful!

9:12 AM  

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