WARNING: THIS MATERIAL CONTAINS STRONG ADULT LANGUAGE AND NOT SUITABLE FOR THE SENSITIVE
Let me start by saying; I am so outraged by the judgment I received from others about my choice to attend temple at the Synagogue. I understand if my family had something to say about it, but I really didn’t expect my co-workers to say anything. After the experience with my co-workers; I am left with the worst impression when it comes to the company I work for.
Before I get into my Jewish experience, I need to let this out. A lot of people already know where I work, so I do not really have to write the name of the company here. I had co-workers criticize me for going to service. I was told that I was “confused” and that I didn’t know what I wanted in life. One co-worker told me that I there were no such thing as Jewish Black people. By the way, that really showed me how ignorant these people were and how HR and management really love to save money by hiring idiots.
Most of my co-workers wanted me to prove to them that I am Jewish. My stance on this will always be. Until there is a Christian who proves that they are truly Jesus lovers… Or that Jesus walked on water.. Or can name all 12 Disciples.. I am not proving shit!!!! My decision to practice which ever religion I want, is my fucking business.
One of my dumb ass co-workers said.
“Oh it’s a Jewish holiday??? That’s why the Pope is here?”
For those who do not know….The Pope is Catholic….. a different religion…. I’m just saying.. Imagine my reaction..
No the Pope is not here to for the Jewish holiday… He is here to see the Giants game. Or he got tired of the altar boys at the Vatican… (WAIT.. WAIT. WAIT… POOR TASTE… BLAH BLAH BLAH… BLOW ME!)
My water started to boil when the African or Haitian security guard… (I really don’t know what race this guy is.. He’s really dark with an accent.) He told me, in front of a hallway full of people, including my director. That I had to prove that I am Jewish, because he didn’t know that black people were allowed to be Jewish. He went on to say that the only Jewish people he knows about were from Egypt and Ethiopia and he doesn’t know how black people here could be Jewish. I told him that Anyone could be born into the Jewish religion or convert to Judaism,. His Reply…
“You just proved to me that you aren’t Jewish, because Jewish isn’t a religion.” There is a woman who works and does the staffing for our distribution center standing there laughing at me.
“First, you need to read a book. Judaism is a religion. I can totally see why you’re stuck doing security in your 40’s” I said. This turned into a screaming match in the hallway, when he then said.
I then told him that he was ignorant and that he needed to read a book. I then told him that I would not stand there in the hallway and prove religion to some 40 year old foreign security guard, with no education. I went on to tell him that he was beneath me and my pay grade. I went on to inform him that he could not speak to me or look at me until he educates himself. I also told him that I do not associate with idiots. (LOW… BUT… TRUE… Ask the director of my department. He is still waiting for a response to an email he sent me two weeks ago..)
I am mostly Religion neutral… This means that I believe in God. I grew up Christian and was baptized. I believe in Jesus, but I am also very open-minded about other religions. At work, I have never openly talked about my religion. I have never openly shared with anyone if I were Christian or Jewish. That is my business. I really don’t know why the hell it matters who I pray to. I didn’t understand why these co-workers “cared.” I do not share my every want and need with the people I work with because I don’t want or need to share anything with them. They are not my family. Management has done a great job at making us realize that we aren’t even a team. My friends know that I DO NOT celebrate Christmas and not to send me any Christmas wishes because I boycott the holiday. My co-workers know that I boycott the holiday, because they all called me a Grinch for months. I do not believe that religion, holidays, political views or Beyonce should be forced on everyone.
Most of the day was spent with me telling people to kiss my tuchus… But I actually told them to Kiss my ass… I’ve learned a lot about the people I work with. I had already hated my job and the company, but now I am just done with these uneducated, lousy excuse for humans. These people who are being hired with no skills or degree, just so that the company can save money on salaries. But I digress. I cannot spend the rest of this post talking about assholes.
IF ANYONE WAS HURT BY THIS.. PLEASE LET ME KNOW AND I WILL TAKE TIME OUT OF MY DAY TO LOOK FOR THE FUCKS TO GIVE..
ALL OTHERS…. CARRY ON!!
My friends were pretty supportive of my decision to attend service at the Synagogue. Christina pretty much coached me through it. Service started at 6:30 pm on Tuesday. I got out of work at 6:00 pm. My co-worker Prerna, drove me to service, so I was able to get there on time. By the way, Prerna was very supportive. She and I share the same views on religion. It is less about religion and more about dedication and being grateful for what you have. Prerna is Buddhist.
I waited for Lionel outside of the Synagogue because I was scared of going inside alone. I was freaked out that someone would say something about the way I was dressed. When Lionel arrived, I hung up the phone with Christina and he told me to make sure my phone was off. (wait, I can’t text during service?)
“Nice to see you!”
“Thanks for coming!”
Before we entered the Temple, Lionel, clipped a Yarmulke on my head. I smiled and said,
“Oh! Thank you, but this doesn’t match my outfit.” He smiled and led me into the temple.
I noticed the royal white and gold of the temple. As we walked through the aisle, men were on their feet. Row by row, we were greeted with handshakes and kind words. This was my first impression entering this temple. I had experienced the warmest greeting as a visitor, far more warm than any church that I had EVER visited or attended in my life.
In our seat, a man behind me, introduced himself, shook my hand and thanked me for coming out. The night was filled with so many experiences. Great and exhausting experiences. I remember going to a mosque with one of my Muslim friends and becoming overwhelmed with the many times these people prayed… But I can totally say, that I lost some weight at service with my Jewish friends.
From the standing and sitting, right down to the bowing and praying. I was exhausted and confused at most times. Their religious books were written in Hebrew and English translation.
“Yes, Jewish on Phonics!’ I joked! The joke seemed funny at the time, now I realized it was totally wrong… It was Hebrew on Phonics…
The chanting and praying in Hebrew confused me. Especially when it came time to turn through the pages and I was following along with the English Translation. Most of my thoughts while reading were..
Yo, Moses was that dude!!
That’s a lot of sins to confess. and
Wait… Do I have to confess to all of these? I’m not guilty of all of them.
There was a jerking motion that I observed the men doing while reading and praying.
I noticed that the women were sitting off on a different side away from the men. Lionel clued me in on why the were separated. “Did you notice the seats above the Temple? That’s where the women are supposed to sit with the children. This way, the kids don’t interrupt service.”
“So if Christina came to temple with me, she would have to sit with the women?”
“Yup!” he nodded.
“She is not going to like that!” I said. “How are we supposed to comment on the people there and text each other.” I asked.
“You are not allowed to do that. Well, you shouldn’t be doing that at your church!” He smiled.
“Yeah! Christians don’t care. They text and gossip about everything during service.”
Some prayers called for the Torak Ark to be opened. The Torah Ark is a case that holds the religious books (the Torah). While reading certain prayers, the Ark is be opened, and then closed at the end of the prayer. I got a chance to open and close the Ark. I felt special for a moment.
Tuesday night Yom Kippur, was the beginning of the religious fast. Food and beverage could not be consumed. There was even a restriction on the usage of phones. The fast lasted until the next night. I decided not to eat until Wednesday night. I continued regular usage of my phone, mainly because I worked Wednesday.
Once again, the people at the Synagogue were really nice and welcoming. They also invited me back. If I had to make a decision on which religion I wanted to convert to based on first impression… The Jews wins… Yarmulkes down!!
In my experience, Christians and Muslims were not as welcoming of me. I didn’t have to stand in the middle of service and give a testimony as a visitor at the Synagogue. I wasn’t forced to join the Synagogue. They did not hand me a basket to collect money for their “Building fund.” No one asked me if I were gay or if I had a girlfriend. I did not have to listen to a sermon condemning others for doing things that the Rabbi and his brats were doing during the week. There were no prayers for miracles to happen. These prayers were of love, pleas of forgiveness, and thoughts of gratefulness. I felt comfortable there. I felt wanted. I didn’t feel like the target that I was so used to being in the baptist church. Oh and they said nothing of my over usage of eyeliner!! WIN!
After temple, I went to Lionel’s place. We talked about the night. I wasn’t allowed to use my phone or take selfies at the Synagogue. So he allowed me to take pictures in his house wearing my “Jewish wear.” I got a few good shots of the both of us being very “Jewilicious!’ (so many things wrong with what I just said.)
I was leaving his house when I asked.
“So, you have to stay pure tonight, right?” Lionel smiled and said.
“Yes! Your thoughts must be pure as well. God knows what you’re thinking.” I smiled and sighed.
“I guess that means that I have to go home.” He kissed me and said…
“Yes! It’s a fast.” He laughed…. Not fully serious, I turned and asked.
“Is it over yet?” I left Lionel’s place and headed home.
The night was amazing. The air was crisp. I had an amazing and exhausting religious experience. I was ready to turn in for the night.. And even though he was not supposed to… I got a text saying,
“Thank you for coming.. Love you!”
Sleep would come easy tonight…