by: Schvach Yid
I love that word – German (my family’s native language) incorporated into English
(my native language). In my hands it’s so pretentious, like me – I’m an expert on everything, you know.
The stress and sense of alienation we often (unfortunately) create for our fellow members of the Jewish community is a regrettable habit that stems from this conviction of expertise and superiority that many of us exercise. We attempt to fluff our sense of self esteem at the expense of others.
I’m guilty of this sin of belittling others, and I can’t afford to do it, despite the fact that I do it all too frequently. I can’t afford to do it because I’m just as vulnerable as any one else to the criticisms and chastisements of others, and believe me, I’ve suffered from the mindless slings and arrows of others.
But I’m stubborn, and I persist.
Two blogs have just entered my life, and I’m glad for it. They provide a bit of mussar for our tribe.
The first is This is Babylon, at http://thisisbabylon.net/2008/12/04/racism-in-the-jewish-community-a-perspective/ .
Mr. Babylon has a point, and a problem. His problem appears to be self-inflicted. His schtick hurls back to the local community politics of the mid to late 1960’s and ‘70’s.
He comes across as a guy in search of a fight with a fabricated in-your-face style (that, by the way, is a ‘Torah-ism) that’s hard to miss. The point is, he’s arguing with himself, and
he’s going to ‘peter-out’ without solving any problems. He needs to revamp his archaic style to one that is not out-of-the-group confrontational. Since he’s Jewish, perhaps he should ‘get Jewish’; after all, he made the choice.
His point is that he has a good point. There really is racism in the Jewish community. I’ve seen enough of it, and it never speaks well of us.
Mr. Babylon (I assume this is not his real name) cross linked to another blog site, Notes of a Jewpanese Nomad, at
Here, there is true angst, not the literary pugilistic assertions of a writer who, I think, takes some delight in making himself an outsider (as I think may be the case with Mr. Babylon), but rather the honest anxiety of a person who feels shunned by her own people.
She doesn’t want respect; she wants the acceptance to which she’s entitled as a Jew.
She calls herself Kaguya, and here’s a bit of her bio:
My two heritages are being Jewish and Japanese. I am lucky in that these two leagacies have few conflicting values; in fact, they compliment each other extremely well. I am also lucky in that I get the two heritages from the “right” parent: My Japaneseness–traditionally a patrlinial heritage–is passed down by my father and my Jewishness–traditionally a matrilinial heritage–is passed down by my mother.
Mr. Babylon, too, is entitled to acceptance, but quite frankly I think he may ask for at least some of the rejection he perceives.
See how expert I am? My brain needs a tune-up.