Think Fast: Pondering Religion on Yom Kippur

I wouldn’t say that I’m a religious person. For that matter, nobody would say that I’m a religious person. I haven’t set foot inside a Temple for years. That said, I do appreciate spirituality, traditions and the community that comes with “organized religion.” After all, some of my greatest childhood memories are from attending Jewish camps, and the trip to Israel I took when I was 16 remains a top highlight of my entire life (ranking way up there with marriage and the kid). But, as Yom Kippur is upon us, I find myself thinking about religion and how it might play a role in K-Man’s life.

What do we teach him? Should we send him to Sunday School? Should he become a Bar Mitzvah? How will we teach him to handle large amounts of passive aggressive guilt? All of those questions that are pondered in a young, Jewish life.

I remember thinking when K-Man was born that, in addition to avoiding becoming a sports parent, I would avoid pushing him toward any one religion. I wanted him to have his own experiences to drive his own decisions. In retrospect, I still believe that. However, I do think that there are certain times when we, as parents, have to provide some kind of guide. In this case – a religion starter set of some kind.

And, that’s what we do.

We celebrate the commercial gift giving traditions of Hanukkah (which includes learning the 97 different ways to spell it). We do Passover. We Break Fast. We even do Shabbat from time to time. All of these things will help him understand what this Judaism thing is all about. Will we send him to Hebrew School and all of that stuff? I don’t know. It’s too early to tell. For now…I’m kinda hungry. Hope the sun goes down fast.

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