Friday, September 25, 2009

Can you be a gentile and convert directly from atheism to Jewish atheism?

My wife comes from a Jewish family. We were both atheists by the time we got married, and yet, I am finding myself following more and more in the "Jewish atheism" tradition as time goes on. For instance, I now celebrate Channukah and Passover (and I would have celebrated Rosh Hashanah1, if only I'd planned ahead enough to get a kick-ass shofar); I absolutely love lox, with the capers and everything; and now I am finding that my new favorite non-alcoholic beverage is seltzer. Not seltzer mixed with anything, just plain seltzer.

Can I do this? Can I convert directly from gentile-turned-atheist to secular Jew, without actually practicing Judaism first? Does this make me a poser?

Meh, even if this is totally lame, I don't care. You'll have to pry my seltzer from my cold, dead, atheist, gentile hands.

1I refuse to celebrate Yom Kippur because I find the idea of religious atonement to be highly distasteful. Even with the Channukah and Passover ceremonies, I am pretty sure the only reason I am able to stomach it is because most of the "Oh God you are so awesome, I totally kiss your ass" stuff is in Hebrew, which I don't understand.


  1. No frickin' way. You have to pay your dues first, and that means going to shul first. You don't get the benefits without the costs!

  2. Aw man, no fair. I did all of my "dues-paying" in a religion whose primary traditions involve door-to-door salesmanship, magic underwear, and a morbid spin on the old dunking booth. I tried to convince my wife that sleeping with other women would be at least be one way to honor my Mormon heritage, but since I was not a member of the church prior to 1890, she wasn't buying it.

    This sucks. Being a secular Mormon is no fun. I wanna be a secular Jew!

    How many times do I need to go to synagogue? My wife dragged me to one once for Yom Kippur just for old times' sake... Does that count?

  3. I'd wish you a happy Yom Kippur, but I am atone deaf