Two Spiritual Changes In My Life That I Once Snubbed, But Needed To Make

I am not religious. My parents came from two religious backgrounds, and so we weren’t particularly religious or observant. But growing up, I was completely fascinated by religion and people’s cultural and familial habits. I loved (and still love) learning about what religious beliefs people practice, how they formed or learned about these practices, what texts/traditions and habits surround their beliefs and how they honor/or don’t honor them today as adults. So, I guess you could say that I was always interested in spirituality, but at the same time I feel conflicted. I’ve read a bunch of religious texts and studied around, but I don’t have watertight convictions that I am certain of. I’m half romantic, and half skeptic/scientist. I want proof, I’m not sure there is any proof, but at the same time, I want to believe in faith, hope, and a divine power and being.

So I’ve had a hard time throughout life really figuring out where I fall in because often, religion proves to be too strict or too narrow-minded for me, and yet, spirituality…sounds too open-ended. Or too hippie-ish for me. But as times got harder after my divorce, I realized I needed something for myself…something to help provide a place of peace and happiness. Positivity, even if it’s just a spark of positivity, because sometimes one little spark can set my attitude aflame, in the right kind of way. I started to realize that instead of saying, “Yeah, I should really do this for my own well-being,” I had to actually start doing it instead of simply talking the talk and not walking the walk.

Read More: Two Spiritual Changes In My Life That I Once Snubbed, But Needed To Make 

Breathe Deep & Reflect,

Laura

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4 Jewish Stereotypes That Need To Disappear

Every race, ethnicity and gender experiences stereotyping to some extent. Most stereotypes are negative and incredibly assuming, and over time, they can cause real harm. Let’s face it – with raging anti-Semitism around the world, Jewish people have been subjected to stereotypes for ages. Quite frankly, these stereotypes need to go. The following are the worst offenders that should be the first to disappear.

The Hooked Nose and Dark Hair
In cartoons and satires, Jews are typically drawn with long hooked noses, large lips and curly dark hair. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard “You’re pretty for a Jewish girl,” or “You don’t look Jewish.”
Read more:4 Jewish Stereotypes That Need To Disappear

Stereotyping Happens to Everyone,

Laura

 

Dual Holiday Celebrations? How to Celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas Without Blowing a Gasket!

Growing up, I didn’t get a Jewish education, but we celebrated the Jewish holidays. My mom had converted from Catholicism and Protestantism to Judaism for my father and then years later when I met my ex-husband, I started to celebrate the Christian holidays with him as well as the Jewish ones. Back in my parents’ day, this would have been considered unusual to raise children with more than one religion, but nowadays it’s more common. In fact in 2013, the Pew Research Center found that 81 percent of non-Christians in the United States celebrate Christmas. Perhaps the holiday has become more American than religious for those of us raised in this country who comes from non-Christian backgrounds?

Read More: Dual Holiday Celebrations? How to Celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas Without Blowing a Gasket!

Keeping Zen & Merry Chrismukkah!

Laura

What it’s Like to Own the Jewish Name Without the Education

Lifshitz is a decidedly, very Jewish last name.

Growing up in a mostly Catholic town, people assumed my “Jewishness” without really questioning me about my background unless it was to ask some token Jewish question.

“What’s the story of Passover?”

Or

“What do those Dreidel symbols mean actually?”

Most of the times, I mumbled a general answer partially because as kids, they weren’t too invested in my answer and partially because sometimes, I didn’t know the answer to their Jewquiries.

And it was awkward.

How could I own this Jewish name and identity, yet not understand enough of what this association means? As a child and teenager, I brushed these things aside but as an adult it bothered me.

Read More: What it’s Like to Own the Jewish Name Without the Education

A Mutt,

Laura