Thursday, September 13, 2007

Happy Rosh Hashanah to You!

Living where we do, the kids get the Jewish holidays off school. This means a bonus four-day weekend for us! Obviously in Utah when I was growing up, we did not take days off for the Jewish holidays. Only the deer hunt...which for some is a truly religious occasion.

When I was growing up, I didn't know any Jewish people. I enjoyed reading about them in Judy Blume books and watching them in Barbra Streisand movies. But my world was pretty one-dimensional back then.

Pretty much everyone I knew fell into three religious categories:
  • Mormons who went to church every week (like my family)

  • Mormons who did not go to church and drank coffee (like my Grandpa H.)

  • and Catholics who were very lucky because they got to go to special schools, wear cute uniforms and/or be Girl Scouts (for some reason, none of the Mormon girls in my neighborhood were enrolled in Girl Scouts...for years I thought you could only be a Girl Scout or a nun if you were Catholic. For a season, I wanted to be both.)

  • Oh, and I also knew one Lutheran girl. She came to my 10th birthday party at the Lion House.

Now I live across the country and my daughter's two best friends in the cul-de-sac are Jewish. They play as nicely as three six-year-old girls can play. (Meaning that one is always crying because the other two are being mean to her. But this is NOT based on any religious differences. It is usually a much deeper conflict, such as who gets to be Sharpay while playing High School Musical.)

I have also made some good Jewish friends. They are excellent neighbors and wonderful parents. I love my Catholic friends too...even though none of them are nuns or Girl Scouts. In some cases, I am the only Mormon these people have ever met. It's kinda scary to be representing your whole faith. I mean if the only LDS people you know are the Osmonds and my family, your view might be a little skewed. But I do my best because I love my faith and I love my friends and I think we can all live together in peace and harmony.

So, to celebrate the Jewish New Year, today we went to the beach! It was a gorgeous day and a perfect last trip for the season. Tomorrow we will pack the kids in the car and drive to Washington DC for a quick overnight trip to one of our own beautiful temples.

Just goes to show-- you can celebrate Rosh Hashanah no matter who are you!





8 comments:

Bridget said...

Living in NJ for the first 11 yrs of my life, I just thought most people on earth must be Jewish. We had Rosh Hashanah off and half days on every day of Hanukah. Looks like a great day for the beach.

Cheryl said...

I grew up in NJ also and remember wishing that Pioneer Day was during the school year so we could get an excused absence for a religious holiday.

Marty: said...

I like to think of myself as "off the Utah grid" for some reason. But the only Jewish person I know is my cousin's wife.

Stie: My Favorite Things said...

I, too, grew up with your same perceptions. I remember moving to Minnesota for grad school and working with a woman who was Catholic and wouldn't let her daughters wear immodest dresses to prom. I was literally shocked that people outside of Mormondom had those types of standards.

It was pathethic that I was so secluded and am now proud to call people of all religions my friends.

Rochelleht said...

That cracks me up. My mom wouldn't let me be in Girl Scouts. I always thought it was for the gentiles...

What a fun day trip! Have fun in DC. I LOVE that city.

I'm having a party tonight and making your bacon wrapped little smokies. Should be yummy!!!

mama jo said...

in california, we also always have jewish holidays off...i always loved it because school had just started..i wasn't quite into it yet, so we got a few fun days off...it is true that living away from zion teaches you that there are alot of wonderful people in the world..i wish all the people in the world could get along like you do with your neighbors...

Mique said...

Happy Rosh Hashanah- we actually had Jewish next door neighbors. So we celebrated Jewish holidays with them (went to temple with them for Rosh Hashanah even), played dreidel games, etc, and they celebrated Christmas and Easter with us. We got to know quite a bit about their religion- I didn't think much of it at the time but it's kind of nice experiencing different things but still having your own faith. We're still close with that family to this day.

Megan said...

I grew up in Chicago and we always got the Jewish holidays off. I had many Jewish friends and would celebrate passover with them. I also had tons of Catholic friends. I loved it. My friends and I would always support each other's religious beliefs.

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