Let me start by saying that my upbringing was very firmly secular. My family made it clear from a young age that belief in a supreme being was the folly of the idiot or those on the lower echelons of society. We were intellectuals and therefore did not hold to any belief other than those based in ‘science’. My family were however, Jewish by race and so we did partake in the Jewish holidays and festivals and even attended the local reform synagogue on a semi-regular basis, however it was constantly affirmed that these were merely cultural exercises and nothing more.
My grandmother was a Jewish communist and was responsible for my firm Jewish identity, herself being brought up in a kosher home. However this also instilled me with socialist principles from a very young age. In fact at a young age I can remember going on Anti-War marches and even telling teachers that I was communist, laughing at those who subscribed to the Christian faith.
Despite this, since I can remember, I have had a keen interest in politics, philosophy and religion. I can remember being eager to go to synagogue at around age nine, not for religious purposes, but again for a sense of heritage. On my tenth birthday I was given a kippah by my mother and father (along with a Complete Works of Shakespeare).