Friday, July 17, 2009


[Disclaimer-type intro #1: The topic for this post came to me as I was thinking from one thing to another on my way home from work. Chalk it up to my active brain, and perhaps a little boredom due to a religiously motivated lack of music. Don't bother asking.]

[Disclaimer-type intro #2: I even started writing this in my head as I was walking home. It was brilliant and insightful. I can't promise that I will be able to replicate it, as I got distracted by cake and ice cream as soon as I got home.]

Frequently, especially in more Orthodox settings, the expression of one's Jewishness comes through actions--keeping kosher, going to synagogue, fasting on one of the many fast days, wearing a kippah--rather than through statements of faith. (Setting aside the ubiquitous-in-some-communities "how are you?" "thank G-d" greetings.) And I expect, though without re-reading my previous posts to see if this applies already, that this will come through in this blog. Why is it important to have a blog dedicated to "frum fostering"? Because of the practical, action-related issues. Can the kiddo/should the kiddo go to shul with you? What happens when the kiddo wants a cheeseburger? What do you do about Christmas? Less often is the question "my foster kiddo is out of control; I don't know what to do, and I'm questioning G-d." Or maybe I'm just making assumptions. Okay, I probably am just making assumptions.

But the point is that we generally don't get all sappy mushy when talking about G-d and faith.

So I hope that my portrayal of Judaism as all action (and by that, I mean action of the type suggested above, rather than Action to bring goodness/repair to the world) and no--or almost no--faith doesn't mislead you to think that I don't have a strong faith or that I am acting for show. It's just the way we talk.

1 comment:

  1. It is confusing to Christians because Christianity is a very belief-centric religion. What one believes determines what denomination one belongs to and whether one's beliefs and actions line up determines whether one is a hypocrite. I have been accused of being hypocritical by (some) Christians when I tell them that I have given myself permission to go to church, to practice my faith, even though I am not sure what I believe. Among those who don't find it hypocritical still find it discomforting.

    My Jewish friends though all get it.

    I think the word "faith" can be used both in terms of what we believe, and in terms of how we act. We can live out faith. How to do that is sometimes a very complex question.