Do a ritual I don't believe in, or don't do it and miss potential rewards?

Will you find this ritual in any way valuable to you? Regardless of your religious beliefs, your mom’s beliefs, your family’s beliefs, will this help you somehow? Give you a half hour a day to meditate, to calm yourself? It sounds as though you may be going through a difficult time, and if this ritual will give you not only the social benefits you desire, but also a few moments to yourself during the day during which you can relax and reflect, I think you should do it. Many people I know go to church to attend service not because they necessarily believe that Christ or God or whatever it is is in the church, but because they’re looking for peace. For them, church is a peaceful place, a sanctuary that allows them a few moments of calm in an otherwise stressful, hectic day. If a religious ceremony allows you that sort of peace, and you don’t feel like you’re being hypocritical doing it, I think you should do it.

Was this thread intended to be a message-board version of riddle-me-ree or did it just turn out that way?

How are we supposed to answer your question without knowing what on earth you’re talking about

Is it possible to be seen to be seeming to do the ritual? I gather the ritual is behind closed doors and personal. Can you in that personal half hour of time perform a ritual (prayer, meditation, etc.) more acceptable to your own beliefs? You should never say you are doing the ritual, but the fact that you refuse to say so will look like piety to those who wish to believe you are doing their ritual, even though you are doing your own ritual instead.

I think I have a hold on what it is, but as the OP hasn’t overtly mentioned it, it sure as hell ain’t mine to say. I will say, though, that for anyone who missed it in his most recent post, it is definitely something he would be doing every day, and I think it’s also something that would not be done in one solid 30-minute block of time but in a few spread out.

Part of the Seder says “He that is hungry, come let him eat.” Anybody who wants to learn about Judaism, or Passover, or anybody who simply needs a good meal is welcome. In the last case, it’s a sin not to invite the person. The four questions are traditionally asked by the youngest person present. The purpose is to teach the somebody who doesn’t know the answers. I can’t see how you or your hosts violated Jewish law in any way.

Hmm. From your post, I think we are thinking of different rituals. If it is the ritual I’m thinking of, I’d say don’t do it. Performing a private ritual meant to express genuine faith and bring you closer to G-d, without any faith and for social purposes is demeaning. Roles at funerals, weddings, and other public events are intended to have social as well as religious purposes. A private act is not.


Hm. I am ambivalent as to what to tell you.

There seems to be a high motivation to do this for your mom. If you don’t do this thing, do you believe you’d regret it years later, after (God forbid) your mom has passed on and it’s too late to please her? Do you believe that the regret (if you would have regret) would overshadow any feelings of hypocisy you might have over doing this thing?

I think it’s a balance. I don’t want to encourage anyone to treat a religion with disrespect, however, so I don’t know. I think you’ll have to decide if going along with this is actually disrespectful, or merely a loving gesture meant to give someone else happiness.

You catch on, boy.

Two points: I can do the entire ritual for the entire day in about an hour. Although the different units are done at different times, there is no way I’d be able to do so. My daily schedule didn’t/doesn’t permit me. So, I did them all at one time (not recommended, but better than nothing, I figured). But with time, it will shorten from an hour to half an hour or so as I get used to it and as it flows faster.

The second point is that the reason I closed the door is because I followed rules that my family doesn’t. I figured: if I’m going to do it, I’ll do it the way I like to. Although my family doesn’t follow the rules I adhered to, a good 10% of the people of the religion adhere to this set of rules instead of the rules my family abides by. So it wasn’t for modesty, privacy, or any of that stuff. I chose the other set of rules because of simplicity, ease, brevity, and because I liked them better. (The ease and brevity also make doing this ritual much easier and convenient compared to other rules.)

overlyverbose (fantabulous name, by the way) had an excellent point though: not only would this be something that would help me and my family in many ways, it could be a form of meditation or relaxation. As it is repetitive and formulaic, it would be easy to use it as a time to simply not stress on everyday stressful stuff, to zone out and relax.


BTW, WeRSauron, re: your sig, I coulda sworn it was “Peace be upon him” - the lone Muslim where I went to HS told me some about his prayer and reverence-type things, and that’s one of very few I happen to remember. However, it’s surely possible that there’m more than one valid translation.

I’m still not entirely sure how your family knows you’re doing it if you have the door closed, but that is fortunately not something I have to worry about:) I am rather curious, though, about how exactly it would help them other than by giving them the evidence they seem to want so they can think you’re a good _ boy, or however that goes in your religion.

Your family has the rest of their life to get over the fact that you do things differently from them. You have the rest of your life to shake your head at the way they have always done the same thing over and over and over again and have never tried an original thought, let alone something new in their lives. sorry, this is my extended family, I’m venting.
If they cannot respect you or let it go, or use it as a chance of emotional blackmail, then you need to rethink what family/friends are. Your invisible friends here on the Dope are here 24/7, no circumcision required. Who loves you, baby?

They won’t be happy until you are back in with them and their thinking and you will never be happy after that because you compromised your own beliefs.

You black sheep. baaaaaa