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Raised reform, realizing I know next to nothing about my own religion. I have no idea where to even start

Apologies for how long this will be. I will try to keep it as short as possible. I am an 18 year old girl living in the US in a state that is not very Jewish. I have been raised in a reform congregation. All of my grandparents were jewish. I had a bat mitzvah and attended Sunday school up until 8th grade. I still attend services whenever I can. (which is rarely because I go to school away from home and don’t own a car.) Because of these reasons, I pretty much thought I knew what there is to know about Judaism. I honestly never really thought that I was uneducated. In my mind, the orthodox in our town were basically like us but they kept more kosher and wore head coverings. Stupid, I know.

In the past few years, my faith in god has become much stronger and more prominent in my life, and because of this so has my interest in religion. I also attend a very tiny college where I am the only jewish student. In the past few months, professors and students alike have all asked me questions about judaism. Up until this point, I thought I had a fair understanding of my religion, but I soon realized I was answering some basic questions completely incorrectly. (Some embarrassing moments: I stated Benjamin wasn’t a Hebrew name. I didn’t know what the tanakh was.)

I have tried to do a lot of my own research online because of this, but its so confusing. Im half Ashkenazi and half Sephardic ethnically, so I have been trying to learn about some of the most universal parts of judaism because I don’t identify super strongly with one groups culture over the other. This has just made it more confusing. The other day I was reading something, I don’t even remember what, and I realized I had no idea what it was talking about. I know next to nothing about something that I feel is the main part of who I am.

I respect all reform jews, but I feel like I have been failed by my Reform education. I have no idea where to even start. Its embarrassing how little I know for someone who has been raised practicing. I know jews don’t have to practice, we don’t have to know all there is, but I want to. I tried to figure out where to start, but quickly became confused on what counts in the talmud, what directly comes from god, what is in the Hebrew bible, what do we even follow?? There is SO MUCH out jewish text. I am trying so hard, but I am extremely confused and overwhelmed.

I really long to go to Israel for yeshiva but my western life (college, getting a job, etc) has made that pretty much out of the question for the next few years at least. I know I’m probably too young anyway. I am trying to learn Hebrew. I practice as much as I can. ( I can read it phonetically.) I spend hours reading things online.

I still have no idea how to began my self-directed jewish education. I’m sorry for how long and ranty this has been, but I feel so lost and like an imposter. Where is a good place to start? Where can I research judaism at its core? Thank you for any advice.

submitted by /u/Leading-Reserve4979
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Source: Reditt