Since becoming observant I have become filled with pride about who I am, my heritage, my birthright, the ethics and philosophy of my people.
Yet it’s normally around our own people that I feel most restricted to express and explore Jewish ideas, songs and culture.
Why are there so many Jews who are anti Jewish? I don’t get it. What are they afraid of? Why shouldn’t we be proud of our essence?
Sometimes I think it’s pure prejudice from fear of the unknown, a lack of knowledge, but I find this excuse hard to swallow in our day and age. There’s so much education and resources on offer.Then I think maybe they had a bad experience that they carry. I don’t know. I always try to judge favourably, to make excuses for them.
All i know is I hate pretending.I hate watering things down in case I make another Jew feel I’m “too Jewish”. Sometimes I just don’t have the energy. I just pray they will open their minds and reconnect with their neshamas, their souls, and just accept who they are. Maybe then it wouldn’t feel too Jewish.
I wish they could just join in and sing the song I often sing on Shabbos:
“I’m a Jew and I’m proud,
and I sing it out loud,
Hashem is always watching over me,
Ya ya ya…”