Today is the Jewish New Year. We make our pilgrimage to temple on this day every year. Although the service is basically the same, the sermon changes yearly. This year our Rabbi spoke about doubt.
The sermon began with a member reciting the opening soliloquy from the play, Doubt. The Rabbi then talked about the doubt of believing in God. How our world has become so extreme. Either you believe whole heartedly or you don’t believe at all. Just because you have doubt doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t participate in religion. Then, as always, members of the congregation would get up and express their thoughts on the topic.
Our temple, from what I see, is mostly people who grew up with Judaism but not so sure they actually believe but want to pass down their connection to the Jewish religion, regardless of how torturous going to temple can be at times. I have found that when you become an adult, it isn’t as bad as when you were 12. I feel much more connected to being Jewish now than I did when I was 20. It has become a larger part of me as our kids have gone through the rituals of bar and bat mitzvahs.
One of the things that I have always enjoyed about the Jewish religion is that it is a thinking person’s religion. There is room to challenge. There are many interpretations of the laws and beliefs. After all, there are many sectors of faith within the Jewish religion. Reform, conservative, orthodox and a few others such as different sectors of the reform believers. I have gone to services at friends temples and have found the service completely different than what I know or grew up with. Granted, there are probably other religions like this or perhaps not but I have always found the Jewish religion intriguing.
What I liked about the sermon is that the Rabbi brought up doubt. To me, if you don’t always prod and think and perhaps doubt, then you have stopped thinking, growing and living. A very interesting sermon to begin the Jewish New Year. So much religious turmoil in the world with many extremists who perhaps don’t doubt gave us all food for thought today.