Sunday, January 29, 2017

Riddle me this...

Quick riddle:

When I pray in my Temple, it's in a foreign tongue spoken fluently (almost exclusively) in The Middle East.

My holy day is not Sunday.

Many of the devout of my faith wear hair coverings.

If you trace it back far enough, all of my ancestors are immigrants.

What am I?

I am a Jew.

But I could just as easily be a Muslim.

Given our present political climate, I think about this often.

As so many, including my rabbis, have pointed out - it was not so long ago that these anti-immigrant sentiments and fears were levied against the Jews - to catastrophic results. When we say "never again," we mean "never again TO ANYONE." Human beings have always feared - and persecuted - that which was different, that which the majority did not understand. And I see it happening today, even on my Facebook feed. Yes, to the Jews, but also to an alarming degree to Muslims. To this I say "never again."

I'm so tired. I am tired of trying to explain these things to people who refuse to see them. And I am also tired of trying to explain to persons of the majority what it is like - the little daily reminders - of what it means to live in any way outside of the majority. As I was not born Jewish, I believe I have a unique perspective on this. I lived as a member of the majority for 20-something years, and it's amazing how things begin to change the moment you decide to venture away from the majority path. It's an eye-opening revelation that cannot be fully appreciated unless it is experienced.

So I suppose, for the majority, the best way I can phrase this is as one, rather famous Jew said to the masses: "Love one another, as I have loved you." Majority folks (in the US, that means "Christians"), you profess a belief that a Jew - one chosen by God Himself - died to buy mercy for your immortal soul. To truly live his likeness - what does that call for in this situation? Jesus was willing to submit to very literal, physical torture, not for those who already believed and practiced as he did, but - more powerfully - for those who did not believe and practice as he did.

Sundays are the Sabbath for the majority.

So there's a Sunday thought for you.

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