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It's So Beautiful to Be a Jew

My fellow Jews:


After some discussion, I have a suggestion on one way forward in the battle against antisemitism.


The first one is to look into my heart, our own hearts. I am going to write a precious word below.


Jew


I will write it again.


Jew


I will write it again.


Jew


I will write it again.


Jew


What is your gut reaction to that word?


Is it joy or thoughts of being Hashem's precious children?


Is it fear or anger?


If it is anything other than positive, then the healing has already begun.


Any negative associations are not the truth. Through prayer or journaling or meditation, one can identify what negative ideas and emotions one has internalized from media, school, or family.


It may be after learning about the Holocaust that you developed a fear of being a Jew or hatred towards the weight of that truth.


You may have picked up stereotypical ideas about Jews being only out for themselves, nerdy, and weak and identified Jewishness with them.


You may have been taught ideas that Judaism is about law and not love.


You may have been afraid to stand out and felt being Jewish is uncool.


You may have felt being Jewish is not like the majority of the neighbors you are surrounded by and that means it is bad.


You may have felt good when someone told you that you do not look Jewish.


You may have experienced antisemitism or well-intentioned but misguided attempts to convert you.


If this does not resonate with you, then, Baruch Hashem, you are blessed.


If this does, you are not alone.


All these ideas I have experienced and, with Hashem's help, have healed a lot.


The journey still continues though. I have not resolved all my self-hatred yet.


I do not know Hashem's reason for the growing antisemitism.


One possible response is this: It is an opportunity for us to look inside to see if any vestiges of self-hatred exist, to hold those feelings in compassion, express them, and let them go.


Facing these things is difficult but has only led me to greater joy.


We cannot escape being Jews.


We can only choose to embrace or reject it.


I am just talking about our own attitude towards being Jewish, not where one is in regards to Judaism.


We are not a religion. We are not a race. We are a people.


We are a family and it does not matter if the world understands it or not.


It is always a good time to be proud and grateful to be a Jew.