Understanding My Jewish Identity

by Sophie Varon
Also Featured on KCBS

Understanding My Jewish Identity

by Sophie Varon
Also Featured on KCBS
04.20.14
04.20.14

I am a Jewish person, but not a very religious one.

As I got older I started to look for a spiritual connection that I was missing, so I accepted an invitation from a friend to check out her orthodox youth group. My first experience was a Shabbat retreat, and I was completely unprepared.

In synagogue Girls and boys  sit on different sides of a tall partition.  Mistake number one — I walked in on the boys side.

When I got to the other side of the divider, I saw that that all the girls were wearing long, loose skirts. I felt my cheeks burning as I looked down at my short pencil skirt, realizing  I had just made another mistake.

Despite all my mistakes, I stuck with the group for two more years. I learned a lot, but never felt any drive to become religious. Eventually I just stopped going, because I felt like a poser.

I’ve tried reform Judaism and I’ve tried orthodox Judaism, and neither one fits.

I haven’t quite found what I’m looking for, but I have learned that I shouldn’t settle when it  comes to my spirituality.

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