I alluded to this in my previous post, but I really want to talk about where I am spiritually. Honestly, I’m stuck. That is, I feel pulled to go into two different directions. On the one hand, I’ve spent the last few years exploring Judaism and really trying to immerse myself it its culture and ritual. I subscribe to Jewish blogs and websites, I say shabbat blessings on friday nights over my candles, I celebrate Pesach and other holidays throughout the year. I added hebcal to my google calendar! And to be honest, I truly enjoy learning more and more about what it means to be a Jew and I crave that stability and ritual. It’s a comfort to know that when I am singing my prayers on friday nights I am joined by many all over the world, even if in my own home I am alone. Also, I have Jewish friends who have been so kind and eager to help me learn. I feel less isolated than I did when I identified as Pagan.
On the other hand, no matter how long I’ve been away, I still feel witchy. Maybe it’s my hippy nature that I just can’t shake off, or just habits I have yet to break, but I still identify with the magical side of life. And that’s not to say that I believe that I can do Harry Potter magic if I put my mind to it (but we only use 10% of our brains, who knows what we could do with the other 90%…. but I digress). I just see natural things as complex and fascinating and that is a kind of magic to me. I still mark the Sabbats in my calendar (did you know Mabon and Yom Kippur are on the same day this year?). I’ve kept all of my books, and I still have my tarot cards (no I don’t think that spirits talk to me through the cards). It fulfills me spiritually to honor my ancestors on Samhain and to recognize the power of nature. I don’t believe in individual Deities per se, but I do believe that talking to different “Gods” is a good tool for reconciling the unfathomable nature of the Divine. I don’t see honoring nature as idolatry because God is in nature and nature is God. Divinity is in all things, and I don’t think that there is just one way to worship Divinity.
I don’t know where this leaves me. Judaism is a beautiful faith, but scripture makes it very clear that there is only one God. I see it as many and one. Can got be many and one at the same time? I think so. But I’m not sure mainstream Judaism provides space for that. Thinking of the Divine as anything but a “One God” seems to be anathema. I don’t want to rock the boat, I just want to worship in a way that feels authentic to my life and to connect with the Divine. If Judaism doesn’t have a space for me somewhere in one of its Movements, then so be it. But I will have a hard time letting go. What I’ve learned in Judaism is very valuable to me. So Here I am, being pulled in two directions, not sure if I can reconcile them into one practice without degrading both, if that make sense. How can I do Paganism and Judaism justice? Are the just completely incompatible? And even if they are in some way, can I handle having to justify my choices to mainstream Paganism and Judaism? I’m not entirely sure I’m up for the task.