I, like Ted Merwin, your newspaper’s theater critic, am also obsessed with Judaism (Culture View, Oct 26). He got it almost right when he admitted that Judaism for him is not necessarily the obsessive-compulsive rituals, but the Big Picture, which is the central credo of Judaism, the Shema, to be aware of God constantly. But he drops the ball when he writes that nearly everyone believes in God, so big deal. He continues to falter when he writes that being Jewish is not traditional religious behaviors but is instead a “state of mind.”
“A state of mind?”
For me, thinking about God often, whether in prayer, in the performance of irrelevant “obsessive-compulsive” rituals or living a life of ethical, moral obligations — teachings about justice, love, peace, the family, etc. — is why I am obsessed with Judaism.
While Merwin cooks Jewish food, reads Jewish books and listens to Jewish music, I worry about unmarried women, how can I help my neighbor who lost his job, how to prioritize the charities I want to help and what day next week to donate blood. Yes, I too, am obsessed with being a Jew.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of NYJW or its parent company, 70 Faces Media.