Today I wonder if you would be willing to do the same for me.
POC (people of color) identify Jews as white. White supremacists (who invented the concept of race) say that Jews are definitely NOT white. The marchers in Charlottesville chanting “Jews will not overtake us” definitely do not see us as white. So what are we? And when will anyone ever claim us?
Oh, right, that would be never. That’s the entire history of the Jewish people.
I’m fine with not being either. I’m fine with being a tiny, tiny minority of about 2% of the American population. I’m proud to be Jewish. One of our strongest principles is Tikkun Olam, which translates to “repair the world.” We are encouraged by every one of our leaders to fight injustice anywhere we see it. Jews lead organizations around the world that fight for the rights of all people and support the marginalized through tzedakah (acts of charity). I am incredibly proud that my heritage is founded on these principles.
So if I ask you to be an ally for me, would you consider it?
Of course, you say. Well, not so fast. Here’s what I’m asking: If your religion has, as part of its foundation, a prayer for others to accept your religion as the one true faith, as the entry into afterlife, as the only way to live rightly and justly, then you are praying for me not to be me. You are praying for Jews not to be Jews. If you really want to be an ally to me, and to other Jewish people, stop praying for the end of our existence.
It’s a lot to ask, I know.
I know you believe you are right. I know the core of your religion is helping others find the way to your God. I know you only want the best for me and for us all.
But I’m telling you, if you really want to be an ally to the Jewish people, stop praying for us to cease to be.