Monday, January 12, 2015

In the beginning

I was born and raised in suburban America. In fact, I've never lived anywhere else. My childhood neighborhood was a mixture of typical Eastern U.S. suburban folk of various religious and ethnic backgrounds. My family in particular belonged to a conservative Jewish synagogue. My grandparents lived very close to us and I remember going there on Shabbat as a child in addition to the other holidays.

I wasn't all that interested in religion as a child. My father seemed to be able enough to read Hebrew and brought his own tallis to temple. I don't really remember my mother lighting shabbat candles at our house, though my grandmothers certainly did in their own homes. Other than holidays and our two sets of dishes (three if you include the Passover stuff), the religion did not seem to be too large of a thread in our house.

I am the youngest of three children. I played with my brothers some and got along with them, but more often I recall playing by myself and easily entertaining myself for hours on end with matchbox cars, GI Joe and playmobil. I think this was the beginning of my introversion. To be shy on top of introverted (and they're not the same thing) lead me to value my introspective time greatly. So, when it came time for me to go to Hebrew school (at the aforementioned conservative temple), my attitude was mostly one of contempt. "I have to go to regular school and then go to MORE school after that? Do you realize how many matchbox cars are going unplayed with right now?", I must have thought.

Thus was born at least a small part of the seed of my initial rejection of religion. As I grew older (and continued disliking having to go to Hebrew school), I developed an empirical, scientific mind (after all my father is a doctor and his father was an inventor). I have a tendency to be very literal, and I need proof, I have to know how it works and why. I am a skeptic. At times to the point of stubbornness. And I still am and wouldn't trade it for anything. Its great.

So with the scientific mind in place and the lack of appreciation of how anything temple-related cut into my time, I more or less concluded that religion was not for me.

So that's the beginning, where I came from, but its certainly not the end, or even the middle...

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