Saturday, December 24, 2005


I had an odd dream last night. In the dream, I was still a member of Park Avenue Synagogue, the Conservative congregation of which I was a member for the past eight years or so. It's where my kids went to nursery school. It's where a made a bunch of friends, some of whom I still count as friends, and some of whom are no longer friends. We left the congregation partly because we didn't "feel it" vis a vis the Conservative practice. We are quite secular, and we felt a Reform practice would be better for a more secularly oriented family. Being a "Reform" Jew does not mean that you are one step away from being a Christian or anything like means, rather, that you begin with the "Traditional" as a starting point and then make a lot of PERSONAL decisions about what you can do to live your life in a spiritual way. It is a departure from Traditional (Orthodox) Judasim, not a further slipping down the slippery slope from Conservative Judaism.

Anyway, I digress....

So, there we were, still members of PAS, and I am at some family function with my kids, and I am wearing a brown corduroy Blue Cult skirt and a ribbed turtleneck. Most everyone else is wearing really conservative clothing - dark suits. Every woman is wearing a hat. But I have chosen not to, mainly because I do not personally believe that a woman must cover her head/hair just because she is married. But that's a whole other Yoga Chickie sermon.

Long, winding hallways and other typical-dream stuff happen, and then the crux of the dream: the rabbi seeks me out and says that he needs to speak with me outside. He takes me out of the sanctuary and tells me that I simply MUST change the way I dress. It is "too sexy," he tells me, "and no one else dresses that way. Look around, and you'll see."

Well, I already knew that in the dream, and I got very defensive. And I told him that I didn't need his stuffy, stiff synagogue and I was already switching over to Shaaray Tefila (the Reform synagogue where people where jeans to worship, and it is pleasantly casual, and it's not about what you wear but about community).

That's all I remember now. But I think it's weird because the clergy at PAS was never less than SUPER NICE to me and COMPLETELY SUPPORTIVE of me, my children and my family throughout illness and its aftermath. My decision to switch to Shaaray Tefila is one I made nearly a year ago and had nothing to do with the clergy or the way people dress, although I do recall a vague feeling of my personal clothing style not quite fitting in with the conservative crowd. But that aside:

Why now? Why would I dream it now? Why would I dream it at all? Does it have to do with yoga somehow? Is it about my choice to practice at one shala as opposed to another?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is about your ambivalence - taking the road not taken, to yoga rather than to the law. You are debating your choice in your drea, seeing it as the less traditional and less acceptable cultural choice.

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About Me

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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.


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