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I am Jewish, but have never felt connected. How can I begin? Is going to Temple going to be too overwhelming?

I just turned 40, and while my brother married a Jewish wife (very connected to the community) in LA and now goes to Temple, celebrates all holidays, and holds Shabbat dinner weekly with his beautiful family…I have never experienced any of that.

Grew up in CT, was the only Jewish kid in my classes, and parents were divorced and very contentious with each other. It wasn’t until I was 17 my parents admitted they thought “the other” parent was introducing my brother & I to Temple and other religious education. I have only been in a Temple one time in my life when I was 9 after my grandfather passed. (goes without saying…I can’t read/understand Hebrew and never experienced my bar mitzvah)

These past 2 weeks and the war going on have made me want to become more connected. But I don’t know where or how to start. My brother said going to Temple by myself might be tough not knowing any of the readings, songs, proceedings, and could be uncomfortable. He suggested joining a JCC and taking advantage of their social groups…which I LOVED…but I live in Arizona and the closest one is 32 minutes each way…and being realistic…with my job/puppy…I wouldn’t drive 1+hour every day to use the gym when I have a beautiful gym in my apartment complex a 45 second walk down the hall.

Does anyone have resources or ideas how I can begin to “comfortably” integrate and feel like I am truly living a Jewish life. I am not religious, nor do I want to become. I want to rather embrace the “community” aspect of our wonderful people I am so proud of.

Wishing my tribe a beautiful day!

submitted by /u/Frisky_Explanation
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Source: Reditt

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