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Isn't it pretty?

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

In Response to a Comment

In response to my request for luck, Pyolski commented that: “It is not befitting a Jewish daughter to resort to [goyish] symbols, symbols rooted in alien beliefs, which should be cast aside rather than drawn close. Let's not forget, we're holy Jews and not just nice people. We are different, and we need to keep that way.” I want to respond with my thoughts about that comment. First of all, I would like to say that the word “goyish” would never, ever come from my mouth – that one is strictly Pyolski’s. I think a word used with such a negative connotation should be avoided in all circumstances, because it leads to generalization, stereotyping and hate. If it is okay to use such a term in reference to one group of people, then it is fine to use it with any group, including those groups the speaker is a part of. And few people I know want to be labeled with pejorative, negative titles that do a grave injustice to individuals, and justify the debasement of any human beings. Next, I would like to address his insinuation that these “alien symbols” “should be cast aside rather than drawn close.” First of all, I believe these symbols do come from our fellow human beings, and to label them “alien” is not appropriate. I have major issues with the separation that many seem to feel is necessary between Jewish and non-Jewish spheres of life. In fact, I don’t even like to say that there are necessarily different spheres to be a part of. Every person on this planet has value, and is created in God’s image. And every person, no matter their religion, ethnicity, observance level, etc. should be given consideration and treated with the utmost respect, rather than cast aside. Also, I think there is so much we can learn from different parts of life. To keep ourselves to strictly Jewish books, thoughts and people would limit us in so many ways. My life has been incredibly enhanced by learning beliefs and reading opinions of those who I don’t necessarily agree with, but I can certainly learn from. Further, in response to the statement that “we’re holy Jews and not just nice people. We are different, and we need to keep it that way,” I have a few points. First of all, I know many Jews and many non-Jews. I know many Jews who I would never consider holy or nice, and many non-Jews who I would consider both holy and nice. I don’t see how being Jewish confers the status of being holy, nice, or neither upon anyone. Again, Jews and non-Jews are both human beings. To me, that confers a lot of similarities, rather than differences. To keep things completely separate would be to live in a black and white world, rather than one where all the colors paint our palette of existence. Some may choose to live in black and white – that is their decision. But I choose the rainbow.

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