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Returning to faith?

Hi all,

A bit of background: I (18M) am Jewish and identified as a Jew throughout most of my life. My dad is an extremely atheist Jew and my mom is Taiwanese and Christian. I grew up around my mom’s faith rather than my dad’s (lack of?) faith, since he denounced ALL religion — think Richard Dawkins. His dad, my grandpa, was fluent in Yiddish and I think was the last in the family to have a Bar Mitzvah but the first to stray from religion. He never went to temple, therefore my dad never went to temple. I’ve been to church and Christian services countless times but never stepped foot in a synagogue solely because my dad thinks all religion is made-up. I always had an issue with his way of thinking (we’ve argued several times over this) and, now, I think I’m religious. Since going to college and living on my own, I’ve reflected on my own beliefs a lot and feel less influenced by my parents; I want to be religious and go to a service or two and see if I fit in.

However, I feel like I’m late. I never had a Bar Mitzvah, I don’t know Hebrew (only minimal Yiddish), and I’ve never read the Torah. I have, like, foundational knowledge but I feel like I’m really lacking what other Jews my age had growing up religious.

I want to get my foot through the door but I’m scared. I’ve been on-and-off looking at local temples (and the area I live is not populated by many Jews and therefore everyone is quite close, and that adds to my fear of being out of place) but at the end of the day, I’m too scared to actually go. What can I expect from small synagogues, would it be weird to go as an unfamiliar face? Is it okay to bring my (gentile) girlfriend for support? Am I really as far behind as I feel for not having a religious parent? Where do I start?

submitted by /u/svladsgently
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Source: Reditt