What's it about?
Not that Jewish is a one woman show, performed by Monica Piper, who gives a hilarious take on her life, the funny parts and even the sad parts too.
What'd I experience?
Monica Piper grew up in a “not that Jewish” household. Her father was a comedian and truly believed that being a decent person, having a sturdy set of morals, and appreciating humor was a great way to honor being a Jewish American. Monica did not go to temple or read the Torah every day. Instead, she joked around with her Mom and Dad and gained a fantastic sense of humor while still respecting her religion.
My mom and dad are very religious. My mom wears a hijab and my dad prays in a mosque every Friday morning. They both pray 5 times a day and they both have been to Mecca and have performed Hajj. My parents take religion seriously.
When I was a kid, my parents enrolled me in an Arabic class. Instead of going to a park, I would go to class for 5 hours Monday through Friday. And instead of relaxing on weekends after a long week at school, I would be forced to go to class Friday to Sunday for 3 hours. This class essentially took away my childhood.
The sheer amount of torture I went through at that time of my life absolutely killed any affinity for religion I could have had. Not even simply killed it, it brutally murdered it. Even though I was 10, I would go as far as to lie about falling down stairs and intentionally scrape my knee on the brick stairs outside my house to show my parents proof to get out of a class.
Believe me when I say, yo girl was not playing.
Hearing Monica fondly retelling stories from her childhood, especially the ones with her dad, about going to comedy clubs and enjoying her life, made me a little nostalgic for a childhood I never even had. Which was odd.
I am very content with not being religious, but I do wish I was brought up in an environment like Monica's, where you didn’t have to go to the temple or read the Torah impeccably to be a good person. Where just being a good person with the right set of morals was good enough.
Right now I have a significant other who, as you could have guessed, isn’t Muslim and isn’t even Bengali. I like to fantasize about our future together and my mind always wanders to our future kids. I was raised Muslim and he was raised Christian. That will undoubtedly be problematic for our families, because his parents wouldn’t want fully Muslim grandchildren and my parents wouldn’t want fully Christian grandchildren either. So what do we do?
After hearing Monica's take on her life, I think I might have an alternative to the dilemma of picking one religion over the other.
I know Monica wasn't born into a situation as complicated as mine will be in the future, but her father's and her own take on religion has made me hope for a better future. Maybe my S.O. and I could get by with just teaching our kids to be the best people they can be with the helpful aid of religion, rather than have religion be the driving force of who they become.
I mean, Monica came out alright. Maybe my kids will too.
Want to see it?
What'd you experience?
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