Once Again, Pleasantly Surprised.
I was talking to my father this morning, and we had a conversation that I wasn't quite expecting. He made some comment about my brothers and their connection to Judaism, and how each of us has a very different relationship with being Jewish. He said that the oldest of my brothers really seems to connect to being Jewish and really thinks about God and faith. It's true, my brother has come to me a couple times, asking about God and Judaism. We have had a couple discussions about faith and belief and how it all fits together. It hasn't happened in a while, but he does sometimes turn to me for these type of questions, which I am happy about. But my dad said they had lunch a few weeks ago and my brother asked him about his personal beliefs. My father is very open about the fact that, although he certainly identifies himself as Jewish culturally, he is very skeptical about the existence of God. My father told me that, in his discussion with my brother, he made sure to point out that we each have our own way of connecting to spirituality. And that different things work for different people. He said he specifically made mention to my brother of the fact that I have found a very different path to believing and expressing my Judaism than he has, and that it works for me. I was surprised, because when I first became religious, my father wasn't so supportive. I certainly didn't expect him to use me as an example of how different paths work for different people. But I guess we both have grown, and our relationship has evened out quite a bit. And he has come to accept my decisions as mine, and as working for me. It's nice to know that we have come so far, and it was really incredible hearing from him, completely unprompted, that he accepts, and respects, my decisions.