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Being a Jew and the hard art of communication


Yesterday I had a little discussion with a Jewish friend from my work.. In general the subject was focused on being religious as a Jew..am-echad

It started with her telling me, that she had been on work on Shabbat, a fact I am aware of, but nevertheless really don’t need to know, since I don’t take much rejoice in Jews acting wrong (or in any people acting wrong, for that sake)..

When I told her, that I didn’t need to know about it, she went on: “But I don’t keep Shabbat!”.. “No, I know..” I responded, “but still, don’t tell me, maybe I one day have to keep it against you, and I really don’t want to..”

She didn’t quite understand that, since it’s her right, in Denmark, to keep or don’t keep Shabbat – which is true – so I had to explain about that hypothetical thought, that maybe one day we will live in a Halachic state.. We joked a little about it, in reality I don’t feel any need to force my beliefs on anyone, even though I would prefer all Jews to be religious and take our religion serious..

Well, at a certain point she apparently felt the need to state the obvious to me: “I’m borne by a Jewish woman, so I’m as much a Jew as you!”.. Well, I couldn’t really deny that, neither did I want to.. And neither had I at any point stated that she wasn’t..


But this is the whole point.. Why is it, that some people, when they suddenly feel attacked, needs to point out that they’re Jews too? Actually, my though was (and is) that, yes, she – and all of you Jews who read this – is as much a Jew as I am, but this is the point: She is as much obligated to keep the Mitzvot as I am.. It’s not a safe to state “I’m a Jew!” and then think everything is okay.. On the contrary, state that and hell is loose (sort of speaking).. Yell “I’m a Jew!” and some One will yell “YES, KEEP MITZVOT!”..


But maybe that is where we Jews go wrong of each others sometimes? When religious and non-religious speak together.. We religious don’t say it clear enough that we consider all Jews our brothers and sisters, and as valuable as everybody else, no matter the level of religiosity.. And our non-religious brothers and sisters think that when we talk about the need of being observant, we talk about the need of being “Jewish enough”?


So let me say it out clear.. Are your mother a Jewess or have you converted Halachic, the I certainly do think you’re a Jew.. But then again, I also do think that you’re as obliged as I am, to keep Mitzvot.. Torah was given to ALL of Israel, also you..

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