Published August 3, 2004
Ask Rabbi Dan
by Rabbi Dan S. Wiko PhD
  Issue: 5.08
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Fran asks,

My husband and I joined a synagogue six years ago, when our daughter was born. I was never much of a synagogue goer when I was growing up and there wasn't much Judaism in my house. Therefore, I didn't have much if any interest to go in the first place. I find organized religion a turn off and I don't like all the materialism in my synagogue. It's more keeping up with the Cohens and Levys than connecting with god. My husband and daughter enjoy going so I force myself to go on occasion but my ambivalence is starting to cause problems. What can I do?

Dear Fran,

Unless Judaism is practiced at home during your youth, it's difficult to acquire a real "taste" for it later on. Often, the birth of a child draws people into the synagogue. That is good but not enough to make it interesting enough to stay with it.

If, as you say, your synagogue is more involved in keeping up with the Jonses than they are in connecting with Hashem, it's up to you to make your own connection and build on it and live by your own value system. If the synagogue itself no longer works for you, find one that does and become active in it.

You will find that by becoming more involved in yiddishkeit, when married to someone who is so involved, your home becomes the real meaning of Judaism.


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