Hey everyone, hope you are all doing well.
I was raised Jewish but not extremely observant. We had Shabbat dinners, went to synagogue on Shabbat, celebrated the holidays, kept kosher, went to Hebrew school, but I never walked around wearing a kippah or tzitzit in public.
Now I am 19 years old. This past year, I have learned more about Judaism than I have ever learned before. I finally understood why we say certain prayers, when to say them, some halachah, Tanakh, etc. I really love the sense of community that Judaism has given to me my entire life.
This past week, I came to some sort of realization. For example: why does G-d care if I say this blessing upon leaving the restroom? Or washing my hands? Or before eating this food?
I am also having a lot of trouble understanding how different minhagim can still be halachically correct. I recently learned that some Yemenite communities bow onto their knees when they pray the Amidah, which led me to find out the Rambam permitted this practice. I see Jews using Mishneh Torah and the Rambam as a source of halachah every day, but why does no one pray this way? It is hard for me to believe that picking and choosing halachah can be correct. Isn’t something bound to be wrong?
TL;DR: The fact that Jewish communities practice in such a variety of ways leads me to believe someone is doing something wrong, and it feels like I am doing something wrong because everyone has a different minhag/custom. I struggle to understand the lack of uniformity in Judaism.
I hope I did not offend anyone in my rant, I am just having a lot of trouble understanding how things work at the moment. If anyone has been in a similar position or has any advice, I would be extremely appreciative 🙂