Humans are interesting creatures. We engage in a variety of activities: some for the purpose of receiving remuneration, others with the goal social acclaim in mind, a number which add to our personal leisure and a few which allow us to better the world around us. It is likely, I’m sure, that individuals have other reasons for partaking in a particular activity and that these reasons may overlap. All this is applicable to those who choose to pursue activities such as writing. As for me? I write because I don’t believe I’d be able to do much else.
I often get bombarded with questions from friends, acquaintances and strangers alike on various aspects of my religion. In this blog post, I will begin exploring the various facets to Judaism, focusing specifically on the ‘what’s’. This post is the first of three.
This past Sunday, which happened to be a picture of perfect weather following an abysmal and rainy Saturday, a couple of friends and I decided to head down to the beach in Port Elizabeth for an outing. Having been raised in a Jewish orthodox background, I can tell you that there are many, many things Jews have customs regarding. There are some things we’re eager about, and others which aren’t quite treated with the same enthusiasm. It once struck me, however, that one thing which Judaism (and many Jews by extension) is generally more ambivalent towards is the beach.
In my journalism practical this week, my class began a new section of our course entitled Community Partnership. As part of this section, we were asked to join one of three community projects introduced to us in class and with whom we will work once a week until the end of the semester. The lecture itself was a mixture of awkwardness, apprehension and excitement as twenty-odd university students floated around the room to meet the individuals involved in the various projects. While my class and our course are by no means religious in any respect, the activity reminded me of a concept which is central to Judaism, and particularly to many Jews: charity.
Being a Jew in a secular world is difficult; for many Jews, their religion is an important factor in their lives and I often personally feel as if a spotlight is waiting around every corner to highlight this particular part of my being. Trying to hold onto Orthodox practices in a secular world is even harder, for in many instances doing so further highlights one’s differences from those around them. Every single habit, practice and preference I hold onto seems to invite further strings of looks, questions and remarks from those around me, and while I generally enjoy the opportunity to educate others, I often just wish that people were more knowledgeable about each other’s practices.
I’ll admit it: I’m not a blogger. The thought of putting together a blog post and sharing it with the world* makes me want to jump off the tallest building I can find.
Through some soul search and personal reflection, I’ve concluded that these issues have nothing to do with the how’s nor the why’s of blogging; while I may not be the most tech-savvy individual in the greater Makana district, I’d say my abilities to navigate the interweb are decent, and I believe my reasons for creating this blog are quite clear. Rather, I’ve come to realize, they are rooted in the opinionated nature of blogs.