April 24, 2018 9 Iyar, 5778
TONIGHT IS TWENTY-FIVE DAYS, WHICH IS THREE WEEKS AND FOUR DAYS, OF THE OMER
I was born Jewish, my parents Orthodox. On most Jewish holidays, I was not allowed to go to school. This made things difficult, and I often resented my parent’s strict rules. To be Jewish is to be different, and if you don’t think you’re different, others will think you are!
After learning about other faiths, I concluded that my Judaism allowed for questioning and change; it allowed direct interaction without an intermediary. I could question, accept, reject and even deny without fear. The sins of other religions were not my sins, a freedom which has allowed Jews to persist in spite of the many attempts to destroy us.
There is comfort when Jews feel responsible for each other. We suffer when our fellow humans suffer, and we work at creating a better world.
Maybe part of being and feeling Jewish is knowing we’re a minority. Most Jews like to pursue knowledge. Meeting challenges becomes part of our being. We’ve hoped and prayed that our successes may change how we are perceived. It hasn’t always worked, but we do continue to strive and survive.