a UU, Deist and Jew?… in Texas

No… it’s not the beginning of a joke about three guys going into a bar with one leading a donkey to a barstool.  : )

Last Sunday at my UU church our interim minister was preaching about Rosh Hashanah and teaching us about this important holy day of the Jewish faith. Judaism is part of his spiritual practice and it seemed like the first time that I’d seen him get really animated and passionate in the five or six times he’s preached on Sunday. (he’s a part time minister to our church and so only preaches once a month)

It was really cool to see him so… so… I don’t know, like I said, passionate. He even sang chants in Hebrew. very cool.

But the highlight of Sunday service for me was receiving a yarmulke (I’ve always heard it pronounced yah-muh-ka) and I guess is also called a kippa.

Anyway, one of the teenagers of my church, who I guess is officially a young man now, had his bar mitzvah about a year ago (unfortunately I couldn’t attend due to another commitment) and he brought bright red skull caps, left over from his event to church to give to people this past Sunday.

I was humbled to be given one. It made me feel very reverent during the prayer to be wearing this little piece of polyester cloth on my head. Weird, huh.  Something so small and essentially so worthless (from the standpoint the material that makes it up doesn’t cost much) can be so powerful.  I don’t know why but I really liked it. It covered up my bald spot, too. : )  I would never go buy one for myself though. I mean, I’m not Jewish and I guess I feel like…

well, in the Marine Corps the term we used was “you don’t rate”.  In other words, “you aren’t worthy” or “you don’t qualify” or something to that effect.

Anyway… I wasn’t sure if I could keep it. As I left the sanctuary there was a little box that had other yamakas that had been handed out where guys (and gals) had deposited them to give back. I later found out after I put it in that little box that we could keep it if we wanted it.  It was a gift!

So a question… if I go into the box and take out a yarmulke is it stealing or just kind of… I don’t know, retrieving a lost item. : )

I’d really like to have it back. I think it would add to my personal prayer/meditation time to wear it. Makes me feel a little more… I don’t know, “intentional” maybe is the word I’m looking for… more intentional.

Oh well, as Buddhist teachings say, “all is impermanent.” Wearing it was nice… really, really nice while it lasted.

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One response to “a UU, Deist and Jew?… in Texas

  1. Thanks for the thoughtful and reverent post. I always like it when many cultural traditions are represented in ones spiritual practice.
    I say, if you can get ahold of the yarmulke, then go for it. Sometimes the practice of wearing a ritual garment can remind us that it’s time to quiet ones mind.

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