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Thanks for your posts, ConnieSue
Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:58

[i]How do you think you are different from your past forebearers?[/i]

Great question, CS.

First, I am blessed to live in the USA during a time when diversity is respected and prrotected. Unlike my "forebears", I can freely and openly and publically practice my faith as a Jew and be accepted as an equal among my fellow non-Jewish Americans. I need not fear my family be targeted for discrimination, persecution, oppresion, or even violence. [Yes, I am aware that Jew-hatred is not completely absent and antisemitism can still be found and, in some groups, prevalent, and that old anitsemtic canards still exist--but it is not "acceptable" behavior as it was in the past].

Second, because of the preceding, there is actually a decline in Jewish observances, as acceptance has lead to assimilation--more mixed marriages, less adherence to Jewish practices. Though there is a resurgence of interest in Jewish Teachings and heritages, particularly among children with only one Jewish parent--such as occurred with Congresswomen Giffords (may she return to complete health and joy, Baruch Hashem).

Third, I find there is also a disconnect of our younger generation from Israel. By living in a tolerant society such as the US where their being Jewish may be at most a curiosity to others, and not a cause of discrimination or separation; and that they have never known a time when there was no Israel as a haven for Jews fleeing persecution from the other nations of the world, Israel is not deemed important to them--and, with all the negative press, a point of embarrasment from which they wish to distance themselves--much as 19th century Reform Jews attempted to do from Judaism when, after centuries, they were released from the ghettos and acknowledged (in theory) as equal citizens of the State.

Thus, like my forebearers, I fear for the survival of the Jewish faith and people, seeing both hope and tragedy in our ever-changing relationships among the peoples of "the nations." I see blessings and curses, and can only take comfort in G-d's words to our Patriach Avraham:

וְאֶעֶשְׂךָ, לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל, וַאֲבָרֶכְךָ, וַאֲגַדְּלָה שְׁמֶךָ; וֶהְיֵה, בְּרָכָה.
וַאֲבָרְכָה, מְבָרְכֶיךָ, וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ, אָאֹר; וְנִבְרְכוּ בְךָ, כֹּל מִשְׁפְּחֹת הָאֲדָמָה.

And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing. And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.'


  • I will start with this thought, after 34 yearsConnieSue, Wed Jan 5 19:25
    Of being a Christian, I have experienced the ups and downs of understanding faith, and what it means and why religion is so divisive at times. I have explored the history of mainline religions and... more
    • Thanks for your posts, ConnieSue — History, Fri Jan 28 10:58
    • How am I different ...OldCM, Thu Jan 20 19:08
      ... from my Mom and Dad? Well, for one, they were content with the Southern Baptist churches and stayed with it their entire lives -- until they got too feeble to attend church. The strange thing was ... more
      • Blessings upon you and....History, Fri Jan 28 11:08
        ...your father's Sunday School Teacher. One of the interesting things that you find in the Talmud is that is that when a sick person does have a visitor, a percentage of the illness is alleviated by... more
        • Thank you ...OldCM, Fri Jan 28 18:46
          ... for your blessings. I spent the early part of my working life caring for the sick in nursing homes and acute hospitals. I know how meaningful a kind word or a gentle touch is appreciated by those ... more
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