Tuesday, October 03, 2006

My "Just Incase" Faith

By Kanrei

I celebrate only three religious holidays a year. They are the big three in Judaism: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Passover. They are the “just incase” holidays as in “just incase the bible is right” type of thing. “Covering your ass” is another more popular phrase for it.

Each of the holidays listed above hold major significance to Judaism. While most holidays are just celebrated and enjoyed, these three have very specific rituals attached to them that have been practiced for millennia. They each are in their own way defining aspects of Judaism and are above all others.

I cannot speak of all Jews nor can I say that what I believe is correct, but it is how I was taught by my rabbi growing up.

Rosh Hashanah is the start of a new year in Judaism, but it is more than a changing of the calendars. Rosh Hashanah is also the beginning of a new chapter in G-d’s book. Everything you do and say and think is recorded in a book to be used on judgment day. It is your life’s story as seen by the all mighty. It is your last chance to end the year on a good note or a bad one.

Eight days later comes Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement. This is the second “Just incase” holiday. It is the day G-d writes his judgment of you for the last year in His book. This is your last chance to ask G-d to forgive you and try to show your sins were lessons. A lesson will never be held against you because it elevates you while a sin will because it weighs you down. No matter your sin against G-d, it will be forgiven if you learned from it.

The catch to the Yom Kippur forgiveness is that only G-d can forgive you for sins against Him, but He cannot forgive you for sins against man. For all of G-d’s power, He cannot make another person forgive me nor make me forgive another person. We each must seek forgiveness only from the ones we committed a sin against.

Lastly, I celebrate “Passover”. While it is not something I consider an important holiday per say, it is one of my favorites. The family always gets together and everything is always so nice and perfect on that day. It is a happy day celebrating the escape from slavery and is an actual celebration day. It is like Thanksgiving of the Jewish year to me and reminds me what it means to be a Jew.

Those are the “just incase” holidays for me. I am not an overly religious Jew by any stretch of the imagination. I am proud of my heritage and I cannot help but feel proud in the continued existence of a faith hated for almost all of history.

I view the religious aspect of it as merely tradition and philosophy. I see it as more like the Eastern consciousness faiths than the Christian/ Muslim type faiths. For example there is no Hell in Judaism. The afterlife has but one option to it like the Eastern faiths. Christianity and Islam have questionable and undetermined afterlives. Your actions on Earth determine your fate. Jews believe everyone goes to Heaven so the purpose of the faith is how to be a good person rather than how to get past the Pearly Gates. It is that aspect I respect and love to this day.

I love a faith that tells me that I have a one on one relationship with G-d. I do not need to go to a specific place on a specific day to get with a group of people in hopes he hears me through sheer volume. G-d is everywhere and can always hear us; even when we don’t speak. I love all of that.

This does not mean I am one of those who thinks my faith is the correct one so all others are wrong. I think every faith is right if it gets you to the same place. There is more than one road to any destination and the path to G-d is no different. The thing that drives the competition between faiths is the same thing that drives it between siblings. Each is vying for G-d’s love not realizing that G-d loves them all the same.

A good parent realizes that each child they are raising is different. What one child understands another may not. While one can be trusted with responsibility another needs a reward to behave. They are each different people with different motivations in life. This is the same for the many faiths world wide and a good G-d, a smart G-d would know that. Certainly an omnipotent G-d would.

The funny thing about faith is that most Jews would not consider me a good Jew. I do not belong to a temple, I do not support Israel blindly, I do not know Hebrew and I only celebrate three holidays a year. The way I see it is that G-d only really gave us 10 laws to follow. All the others are from man so as long as we follow those 10 we are good with G-d and that is all that matters.

Happy New Year to every one and I really am sorry for any offenses I committed over the last year. I ask for a new start for the new year.

I almost forgot the point of the babble: what are your “just incase” holidays?


Steve G said...

I like the changes. Just in time for the big Pumkin.

Anonymous said...

I guess jews don't celebrate thanksgiving. What happens if you are wrong and Allah is the true god and jews and gentiles burn in hell? I say enjoy a secular life and whatever happens happens. Kanrei why do you hate christians?

rex said...

I have a just in case mentaily as well........Beleive me, on my death bed, I will be willing to swear alligence to just about anyone.....

Variant E said...

What if they're all wrong and your just dead...

Kanrei said...

Hi Var,
If that happens then I will be dead and not bothered too much.

missouri-lisa said...

"Just in Case" religious holidays??

You think GOD will be fooled and doesn"t know what is in your heart?

Kanrei said...

I am counting on G-d knowing what is in my heart and not being fooled. Anchient rituals have little weight in today's world and I do not believe G-d made us to tell him how great he is. If he knows everything than he already knows he is great =D

Gal said...

My "Just Incase Faith"

So, your faith is like that rumpled condom you carry around in your wallet? I'm sure God will be impressed. LOL (Just kidding.)

I am counting on G-d knowing what is in my heart and not being fooled.

I think that's what any loving God will do. Amen.