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This really resonates for me. I spent my childhood in the USSR, and, though I tried through my high school years to adopt the tradition of my birth, I just found it hard and somewhat alienating. I too am embarrassed by my poor knowledge of the liturgy and essential inability to read Hebrew. But I do wonder how much of this is my internal self-judgment as opposed to silent messages from the community. My bet is that more than half comes from me. Yet there it is...

apples