Katia Raina

The Magic Mirror

Believe . . .

Religion is opium for the People.

That’s the thing they taught me when I was a little kid. I remember my grandmother giving me a “funny Bible,” one that basically makes fun of every event described in the Big Book, from Adam and Eve on.

When I was a teenager, with perestroika and freedom of speech in full swing, religion was hot in Moscow. Going to churches was en vogue, and everyone had to have a cool poster of Jesus Christ in the apartment – well, we did – Salvador Dali’s reproduction.

Now, as an adult and as an American, I have discovered that I am a Jew – and that being a Jew isn’t a nationality apparently, but a religion. I have discovered that God apparently writes your good deeds in the Book of Life before Yom Kipur each year, and so I can’t help but try to be extra good around the High Holidays. Together with my kids, I have learned the story of Hanukkah, and one of Passover, and so I know the Soviet government wasn’t the only one that had a problem with the practice of Jewish religion 🙂

Yes, I grew up, learned that I am a Jew, and married a non-Jewish-raised-Catholic-now-reluctant-agnostic. So, with such a muddled religious background, even now as I place the Hanukkah gifts for my children under the Christmas tree, it is good for me to reflect on what it is exactly that I believe in.

1. I believe in a higher power.

Of some sort. A Force. A Something Big that is Out There. A something special that is there for me. I call it God. You can call it something else entirely.

2. I also believe in the Big Bang theory, though.

Or something like that, anyway. And I believe in evolution. And science.

3. I also believe that science doesn’t have all the answers, and that there is a lot we still don’t know about the Universe, and about ourselves.

2. I believe in Fate.

In a good way, in a glass-half-full way, as in, everything happens for a reason – a great reason we’ll later come to appreciate and be thankful for.

3. I believe in asking for what you want.

4. I believe in magic. The everyday kind.

5. I believe in the stories from the Bible/the Torah.

I believe they are a form of a history, and even mixed heavily with myth, they are honest in that they document the story of humanity, our hopes and fears and our growth.

6. I believe that we are changing in how we view religion, anyway.

I believe that every one of us is searching for an answer, and whatever answer you find, is the right answer for you.

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Happy Hanukkah! (I know there’s more, a lot more, so insert any here that apply to you, and enjoy the holidays!!!)


December 15, 2009 - Posted by | The U.S.S.R. | , , , ,


  1. A question, out of curiosity: do you believe in ghosts?

    Happy holidays to you & your family, too!


    Comment by Patti Brown | December 18, 2009 | Reply

    • Ha-ha! Actually, hmmmm, no, not really. Not ghosts, not alien abductions. Isn’t it funny the random way we believe/not believe things? Or maybe it isn’t so random? . . .

      Comment by Katia Raina | December 18, 2009 | Reply

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