This afternoon I was caught in a judgement. Yes I know I'm not perfect, and I like many people judge others. I try not to, but I get caught every so often. It's enough to give me a kick in the buttocks to make me wake up and re-evaluate how I think about things. Not that judgement is always bad, or always good, but it is good to get these kicks every once in awhile. It prevents you from being too cocky, and it helps you to become a betterer person.
Rob and I were at Stop and Shop this afternoon, getting our last minute Pesach groceries. I got most of it all last week, but I didn't get my produce and dairy stuff. I ususally save that stuff for the day or so before so it doesn't spoil.
We were on the checkout line, and I noticed the woman in front of us was buying shmuira matzah (REALLY KOSHER SUPERVISED MATZAH) and hotdog buns. I thought it was funny. I made the judgement that she wasn't so religious and wasn't keeping Passover, and that was bad of her. Not only that, I was thinking bad stuff about her that she had the nerve to buy Super Kosher Matzah along with bread. Just that, in many peoples minds, would negate the kashrut of the matzah. Part of me did find it funny on top of all the judgement, and I pointed it out to Rob in what I thought was a non-challant, not obvious way.
Well, she must have noticed, because she called me on it. We kinda made a joke, thought it was weird etc. Turns out she's having company tonight and the'yre eating outside because the house is kashered, and they need to eat supper etc. so hot dogs on the grill it is. It's a perfectly plausable reason, but immediately my mind jumped to the wrong conclusion.
Maybe it's my background. My family never keeps Pesach, we have a sort of seder and eat, but thats it for the holiday. Then again, I keep it to a pretty strict level, and I know people who are more strict than I am. Rob and I are going to the first Seder at our Rabbi's home. Our second seder will be with my family. And that's fine. I get to have my full all out seder, and I also get to spend time with my family. It's a bit of a jump for me sometimes, but I guess I'm used to it. Going back and forth from my family's and my own religious circles is a jump I'm used to. But it's not always easy. And I guess sometimes I still do some judging. I guess it's normal. I'm human.
But what I SHOULD remember, is that everyone has their own levels of comfort and spirituality. No one person is better than another because they follow the rules more strictly. I do what I need to do, and you need what you need to do and that's ok. I won't preach to you if you don't preach to me. Usually that's my philosophy. I always try to respect peoples thoughts whether or not I agree with them. It's hard sometimes, but I do try. But I'm human too, and I make mistakes and I guess I forgot today, and let it kick me in the buttocks. Embarrassing, but a good kick to make me think.
It reminds me of a story I once read in a book about different peoples different levels of practice. True story.
David, is an Orthodox Jew and keeps Kosher all year round. He was at a business meeting woth some collegues during the intermediate days of Passover. At the lunch break, others went out to local restaurants, David remained at the conference table and took out his matzah and hard boiled eggs. As he unwrapped it, a collegue joined him and unwrapped his lunch. It was ham and cheese.... On matzah. The collegue looked at David and smiled. "Boy, I'm glad I'm not the only one. It's hard to explain Passover, isn't it?"
I guess so.