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Blessed Bees * last updated June 14, 2000

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by Melissa Oringer
(c) Melissa Oringer, 1998-2000, All rights reserved

I'm Wiccan and I'm Jewish. In my solitary practice, I could also be described as a Jewish Witch (in the sense that there is no Wiccan tradition associated with it).

I have never stopped being a Jew. That's simply who I am. It's my family, my tribe, my people. I don't always agree with them and sometime I want to smack a few upside the head (oh, to get my hands on Netanyahu, that schmuck!), but they're still my family, for better or for worse.

I incorporate the tools of my family into my practice (the kiddush cup, the menorah, the braided candle, the candle sticks, the spice box, the hand of God...). I have a fondness for challah. I have my own beautiful white lace prayer shawl and an embroidered yamulkah. I re-recognize and encompass Shabbat every week, invoking her as Goddess - Bride, Queen and the state of Rest. I find pleasure and power in the contemplation of words and their hidden meanings. I'm slightly (ahem) opinionated and enjoy the magick of the mind.


In my mind, the Jewish approach to deity is that of an immeasurably unknowable presence that beggars the mind's ability to comprehend and SHOULD NOT be anthropomorphized. When that happens, you get what has occurred throughout history - the word "God" becomes a name instead of a designation, and human attributes get assigned. People meddle and use the associations for political and socio-economic power. I left the traditional practice of Judaism because it had become trapped in secularity and no longer seemed to access the sacred.

In my mind, the Wiccan practice is to respect that awesome source and instead interact with what we can hope to comprehend and *work with*, the Goddess and God and the myriad funnels and forms and potentials that are part of that whole. We also may attempt to work with that unknowable Oneness if we dare.

Not all Jews who are Wiccans care to incorporate their past into their present. The factors are numerous - their relationship with their family, which part of the culture raised them (I was raised Reformed, as opposed to Orthodox), how easily they can or cannot separate from their roots.

I find it not just difficult, but impossible to divide myself from my Jewish identity. Thus I embrace it, as a witch.


(c) Melissa Oringer, 1998-2000, All rights reserved

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Melissa Oringer, all rights reserved