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November 29, 2010

Mom, A Blown Tire & Thanksgiving With Jesus, Moses & Muhammad

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/mom_a_blown_tire_thanksgiving_with_jesus_moses_muhammad/

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My mom is in town. She is super cute and I get a kick out of her.  She’s not much for going out.  She likes to stay home, cooking and knitting.  It’s funny because those are Grandmotherly things to do and I guess I now view her as the Grandma to my child, as much as my own mother.

We had a low key weekend of cooking, eating, visiting, and resting.  I love so much having her here and sleep a little but better with her in the next room.  She will be here for a couple of weeks and I am going to focus on enjoying our time together, rather than worrying about her leaving.

I’m dreading the day she goes back.  It’s sad because I will worry about her leaving and it will be a cloud over our visit.  It’s hard not having my family close.  Everyone is in Canada and after twenty years in Los Angeles, I feel the distance the most when they leave after a visit.

I hope when my son is my age he loves me as much as I love her.  Speaking of my son, we went out yesterday to run some errands and stop by a birthday party.  As we tooled around town, I blew a tire.  I heard the tire pop and it was loud.  It’s a really scary thing.

Thank God it happened on the street. not the freeway.  I can’t imagine how frightening it would of been if I were blazing down the freeway.  My son was amazing.  He was calm, cool and collected.  We called AAA and they came out, changed the flat, and we went tire shopping.

When we were waiting for the new tire to be put on, I had an interesting conversation with my boy about his driving.  We’ve talked about his driving here and there, but it was our first in depth chat about what it will be like when he gets his driver’s license, which will be in about a year.

This child has plans!  He knows what kind of car he wants, how he’s going to pay for gas, the insurance he wants, and a car wash schedule.  Hilarious.  A lot of thought was put into it, none of which matched my never allowing him to go on the freeway and only being allowed to turn right.

I love my kid and I love my mom.  It’s an interesting time in my relationships with both of them.  My Mom is who defined my past, and my son is shaping my future.  It’s so wonderful for all three generations to be together and I thank God my son gets this time with her.

Speaking of being thankful, I had a great Thanksgiving.  My son and I went to friends for dinner and it was really great.  The food was divine, the company was entertaining, and the entire evening was fabulous.  It was a bunch of very different people, who meshed perfectly.

I knew some of the people there, and met some new friends.  Gathered around our table were Jews, Muslims and Christians.  We had a great discussion about Jesus, Muhammad and Moses.  It’s fascinating to me that when you discuss these three men without judgment, it’s so good.

I’m not big on religion, but I am big on faith and believing in something greater than myself.  God has a place in my life and it’s personal.  It’s Jewish certainly, but more than that, it is personal.  To hear a group of women discuss how important God is to them was very interesting.

We all said pretty much the same thing about our faiths.  It’s lovely when you talk about faith with an open heart and mind, allowing everyone to believe what they want.  You learn and grow.  It’s sad so many people are not willing to listen, allowing religion to be a catalyst for hate.

I wonder what Thanksgiving would be like with Jesus, Muhammad and Moses at the table.  Would they be able to have a meal together, learning from each other, and walk away with a renewed commitment to their own beliefs, while embracing the spiritual path their friends are on?

I truly believe they would.  I honestly think if they were here, and could see what religion has done to the world, they would be heartbroken.  It’s not what any of them would want or expect of us all.  At what point will we start to think about what they would think about our actions?

It’s one thing to say you are a Jew, or a Christian, or a Muslim, but it’s another thing to actually live your life with the morals and obligations that are asked of us by our faith.  We all seem to be conveniently religious about what we choose, but few of us are actually willing to walk the walk.

A friend of mine in Canada posted an article about her local school board, which has decided to change the name of the schools districts winter break to “Christmas” break.  They feel the break is about Christmas and Christ and they want the name to reflect that.

What are we teaching our children about religion when we alienate some kids in such a blatant fashion?  If you are the minority, and you celebrate something other than Christmas, how will that make you feel?  We are teaching our kids to separate each other based on religious practices.

The world is a mess and it’s our fault.  When will we, as adults, stand up and say enough?  Will we ever live in a world where people are judged on who they are as people, not by how and who they choose to worship?  It’s heartbreaking and ultimately not that difficult.

I suppose I sound naïve and stupid for thinking it’s so simple.  I am raising my son to be a Jew.  I am also raising him to love humanity, help those less fortunate, and not discriminate against anyone because of color or faith.  It’s my obligation to do so as a mother and as a Jew.

To the people of the school board, it’s a “winter” break and you are damaging your children, and setting back our hope for the future.  To the ladies I had Thanksgiving with, you are amazing and I thank you for reminding me that regardless of beliefs, we must all keep the faith.

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