The letter “I” is for Identity

Identity, also called sameness of beliefs, can mean many different things.  It could be your gender identity, sexual identity, self identity, cultural identity, or religious identity.  So today I will talk about religious identity.   “What does it mean to be Jewish?”

Is it a person’s ethnicity, a culture or religion — or a mix of the three?   After thousands of years of Jewish history, the answer to the question remains complicated.  Estimating there to be a total of 5.3 million Jews in the nation, 78 percent of them say being Jewish is part of their religion, while 22 percent said their Jewish identity has no religion.

A Jew is traditionally defined as someone born to a Jewish mother.   But there’s disagreement among Jews regarding people with Jewish fathers but not Jewish mothers, atheists and agnostics who were born into Jewish families, and non-Jews who later married Jews and converted.

Here is my personal identity story…

I was born to two Jewish parents, raised in a reform Jewish home, married a Jewish man, and raised three Jewish children.  I taught in a Jewish day school, graduated from The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning, and also taught religious school for many years.   I believe the traditions of the Jewish religion seep into my daily life and I consider my soul to be Jewish.

BUT, I no longer feel a need to be spiritual inside a synagogue with lots of people chanting prayers for GOD to hear me.   Being out in nature can be a very powerful feeling!  I love walking on a beach, climbing a mountain, falling rain or snow, or seeing a rainbow in the sky.

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Producing and sharing my art is the spiritual journey that I am on now.   My identity is wrapped up in everything that I create.

What is your identity?

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3 thoughts on “The letter “I” is for Identity

  1. Maggie Winfield

    Kathy, I to feel like you about my religious identy. I was born and raised Catholic. I raised my four children in the Catholic faith. Only one child attends Church and she does so in her husband’s faith. Right in this moment of time I am a sporadic Mass attendee. I feel I live my life every bit as honorably as if I was going to Mass every Sunday, but I have chosen a different path

  2. My identity is one of your friends. I love you and the work you share. Thank you for the wonderful visual and mental treats you provide each day. I is for Immersed in love!

  3. There is not a box I for Identity .

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