Thursday, October 09, 2008

Some days I kind of wish I'd chosen Jew over Episcopalian (am I even spelling that correctly?)

You know, if at the ripe age of 14 when I decided to do all my religion shopping I had gone with Judaism, I might be enjoying a day off from work right now. Actually, I probably wouldn’t enjoy it (it’s Yom Kippur which means fasting to repent for your sins—blech), but you get what I mean. Every now and then I do wonder if rather than a late Baptism, a whole shit-ton of confirmation classes, and a big ceremony where I CONFIRMED my Episcopalian values, I might have been better off in Hollywood following the half of my lineage that’s Jewish.

When I was younger I milked being half Christian, half Jewish for all it is worth. I would persuade my mother to buy me things in mid-December claiming it was Hanukkah (note: she was the Christian one). At the time I wouldn’t have known the difference between Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Purim or Passover, despite my dad’s family being larger in number. Considering we lived in Maine, and my half-Jewishness made me a little bit of diversity, it’s not surprising I ended up taking the Christian route. And, I guess you could say I was a little more materialistic as a child. (Eight days of gift giving? Heck Yes). Thanks to a Religion minor in college, I now recognize the folly of my ignorant ways, although, seeing as I am a baptized, confirmed, and sporadically practicing member of the Episcopal Church, it’s not so kosher (a pun?) for me to dabble in multiple religions as I did when I was a little girl. (On a side note—I now realize how strange it was that I was so religion obsessed in my tween years). Thing is, I might now be pretty standard when it comes to Episcopalians, but I have plenty of Jewish guilt.

It’s funny though, because in Hollywood, there definitely appears to be a high percentage of practicing Jews. So much so that once after I first moved here someone told me to emphasize my Jewish lineage (so, not wear the silver cross my mother gave me when I turned 20?) So much so that at my previous job I would be goaded a bit for not thinking Jewish. Example:

Me, after spelling a last name incorrectly: “Hey LB (boss) I can’t find a listing for Ingall.”
LB: You’re such a WASP. Take off your WASP hat and put on your Jewish one. That’s not how you spell it.”

While it’d be nice to think bossman said this in a joking tone, sadly, not so much (if only there had been an HR...).

Ultimately, I still get the benefits of Judaism—the majority of the town is either off or having a half-day today. Halleluiah. Or something.

To all my religious friends who might read this: No offense intended. (And don't take yourselves so seriously!)

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