7 Comments
Jan 11Liked by Joshua Hoffman

Lovely article! Some things need saying. Jews need to assist other Jews because it’s not clear anyone else will look after our interests. No one succeeds on their own, no matter how hard they work. Make sure to lend a helping hand to your fellow Jews!

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Jan 11Liked by Joshua Hoffman

The title is a bit of a turn off, but the content is spot on. It would be a shame if this essay were read only by Jews who subscribe to this blog, and it would be a shame if it were read only by Jews. This is an article about the power of authenticity and embracing all of one's being with gusto. After all, every group has its own "language," its own culture; simply change the references to ones that work for another group. Replace "antisemitism" with "hate" and "Jews" with any group that strives to deepen its roots and grow its branches tall and strong -- not at the expense of others but in harmony with others -- and you have a pathway to creating a more beautiful, peaceful world.

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Jan 11Liked by Joshua Hoffman

This is a nice article, but do you think that it is still non-threatening to one’s existence? Do you think that the constant threats we hear nowadays are just empty threats? People are afraid to be openly Jewish. Are they just being paranoid? Thank you.

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author

No, they’re not just being paranoid. There’s reason to be anxious, but we shouldn’t let this anxiety stop us from strengthening Judaism and our Jewishness.

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Jan 11Liked by Joshua Hoffman

What a great article. It gives me hope for better things to come. I especially like the idea of learning modern Hebrew. When I visited Israel last June I was thrilled to hear little toddlers speaking Hebrew with their parents. The sound of everyday Hebrew was like music to my ears.

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Jan 12·edited Jan 12Liked by Joshua Hoffman

A wonderful article that encourages us to strengthen our Jewishness form many angles. I do have a few issues with some of what you've said, and, of course, this is only my opinion from my experiences as a Jewish woman. Jews have tried to undestand and make sense of any situation that would affect them, but it's those they try to understand who won't make the same effort. Many Jews in the US have lived openly assimilated Jewish lives, and again, they have had to pick and choose what part of their Jewishness would be safe and accepted by the society. I appreciate the many, idealistic ideas you've stated. In my heart, I would love to have all of what you've said make a difference with Jew haters, but as I've gotten older, I've become more cynical. Realistically, I think that showing "too much Jewish" is not good, and being an assimilated Jew comes with the idea that they are the "good Jews," the Jews that can be accepted into society. I am very proud to be Jewish and I work to always be a better Jew, however, it is the others who need the education, or they will continue to harbor and perpetuate the Jewish stereotypes and hateful comments. Rabbi Schneerson, a brilliant leader, knew how to guide the Schlichim to grow and expand Chabad and generate a community of Jewish people to be proud of their Judaism. They are now able to reach out to not only the Jewish coommunity, but the community at large. Reaching out to the community does bring in some non Jews, but it doesn't seem to have the impact against antisemites. I know I will continue to be a proud, Jewish woman and continue to treat everyone I meet with kindness and respect, but I sincerely don't think that will change their attitude towards Jewish people. In the past, I would hear comments such as, "You're Jewish? Really?" as if a Jew couldn't possibly behave the way I did. It was comments like that (one of many that were similar) that has turned me into the cynic I have become. I'll reread the article and hopefully it will motivate me to believe I can be one of many Jews to encourage change.

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author

My only addition to what you said, which I completely agree with, is that maybe some of us Jews can do a better job of inviting our non-Jews family, friends, and communities to participate in various aspects of Judaism with us, and hopefully that’ll make them won’t to learn more or be more interested in Judaism, Jewish life, Israel, etc!

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