This past week I've been working on an essay for my writing class. (Overdue. But almost done, honestly.) Here's a short excerpt:
For most of my life, I had no idea how mumbling archaic phrases constituted communication with God. When I was a child my father did this three times a day, every day, swaying back and forth in front of the bedroom window wrapped in tallit and tefillin, his only other hobby aside from yelling and watching "Bonanza." Based upon this observation, I concluded that praying was the job of adults, or maybe just old men. In Hebrew school we never discussed who God was, or why we were supposed to talk to Him, but did learn that God expected us to cross lowercase t's only halfway through so they wouldn't resemble a symbol that was bad for the Jews, and also to feed the goldfish matzah meal during Passover. After my mother explained that this would kill Goldie, The Eternal fell greatly in my esteem. He seemed petty and not very nice, and I became wary of anyone who claimed God was an OK guy. My father never explained why he prayed so much, nor did I ask, but whenever he screamed at my mother or slammed doors and stormed out of the house, he reminded me more and more of the crabby old God who was mean to my fish.