9.27.2008

shabbat shalom

Last night at tech during our dinner break, my friend Rachel, accomplished bellydancer and costume designer announced that in a few minutes in the costume tent, they were going to ... do ... er, the thing ... that you do to start the Sabbath. Anyone who wanted could come.

So we stood there, a circle of five or six, sharing two challah rolls and a bottle of Nantucket Nectars grape juice as Rachel told us to forget about work, forget about the week, and to just be present, be there, and be grateful. As always happens when I'm around any aspect of Judaism, I was amazed by how calming, how grounding and peaceful the moment was.

I don't know how I can say this without possibly coming off as glib, or flip, or insincere, but if I could pick a religion to be born into, it would hands-down be Judaism.

My religion (pick-a-flavor Southern Christian Protestant) is like a name I just don't like. I've lived with it, given it plenty of chances, tried variations of it, studied it, tried to wait out the feeling that it just isn't right ... and you know what? It just isn't right. But it's such a part of my identity. Like a name. You hear yours and instantly think, that's me; you see it on a list and think, oh, there I am. It's you, you're it.

In related self-obsessed musings, I have legally changed my last name to Brandon's. No more Coil. And it's strange how soon my new name feels so comfortable and right.

1 comment:

lizzy said...

I don't think it's glib to want to be one of the Chosen People.

Most people in Lubbock were protestant, so being raised Catholic (and, importantly, liberal), I sometimes felt as much of a minority as the Jews there. I attended as many Hanukkah celebrations and Seders as first communions and confirmations. Also, my favorite cousins are Jewish (in Oak Park). I always wanted to be a part of that. So I constantly told the nuns at my school that I wanted to be Jewish. It didn't fly, and now I tend towards agnostic-atheism. (Although I have a feeling that the internet would classify me much as it did you.)

Congrats on the name change!