Well, I've lived in the scenic and beautiful Texas Hill Country for 16 months now and have built on my experiences as a Jewish woman. My job at Sac-n-Pac in Spring Branch has greatly enriched my experiences, which include getting to know many folks in the community, feeling more rooted here and actually meeting Jewish people in the Hill Country. I've met people who are married to Jews, have one parent that's Jewish, and have met Jewish people from San Antonio headed back to San Antonio on their way back from the Jewish camp near Wimberley. One day, while waiting at a traffic light at the junction of Highways 281 and 306, I caught sight of a small bus with a Star of David on the side of it and a sign proclaiming it was associated with a Jewish Community in San Antonio.
What remains in progress for my spiritual life is that of connecting with an actual community. I'm looking forward to learning what flavor life in Texas and the South renders for me as a Jewish woman hailing from the Midwest. Jews always chronicle the places they've lived and I am blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of that tradition through this column.
I've had something happen that has rankled me lately and wanted to share with readers. I've had someone sort of question my walk as a Jew (or Jewish identity) because of my observance or lack thereof where Shabbat is involved. I puzzled over this for awhile because it's true lighting candles on the Sabbath is one of the fundamental passages of a Jews life on a weekly basis. But there's more to it, there's always more. Which makes me think of Jewish souls that perished in the Holocaust. They died Jewish and had their prayers, songs and other Jewish oriented messages that maintained their identity while multitudes were dying for that identity. Now I do not assume the bravery of the millions who died at the hands of the Nazis, but I take a lesson from them; being Jewish is a mindset also, not just a set of commandments that tell you to do so "just because".
Connecting to a community here in Central Texas is becoming more of a likelihood as I become more comfortable. But it also remains in me that my heart remains connected always with a tradition thousands of years old, even if I'm not as observant during certain times as I should be.