Monday, November 10, 2008

Antisemitism is geared too...

Many times when learning about the holocaust or about pogroms or some sort of other massive turn out against Jews, the discussion always leads to WHY people hate Jews.

The teacher/speaker always begins by explaining how the secular Jew is looked down upon just as much as the frummy Jew (of course I never went to such a shuir given by non-frummies). They continue by explaining how the frummy looking Jew doesn't hide their Jewishness, but flaunts it in a way, while the secular Jew hides it, in hopes of not being hated.

The speakers always say how the goy looks down on both types of Jew, and that we shouldn't be embarrassed by what we are, and live up to it.

I was even at a shuir once in which the speaker said that if you say something about a black guy, the black guy would be like "Black Pride" and go away, but if you say something about a Jew, the Jew would be like "really? I didn't realize, how should I change?"

And so the speaker continued on and said how we as Jews should just remain Jewish, and persue frummy persuits.

And basically that is the main opinion amongst shuirim/classes I've attended. If Jews only remained secluded to ghettos, no one would bother them or hate them.

I feel like this, if someone is going to hate me, why can't I persue whatever I want, and not worry about them hating me? If they're going to bother me, it won't be legal in today's day, so why bother, unless I have evidence of some war breaking out?

But I never argued with my teachers/lecturers, because I never really had evidence to think otherwise.

The other day at my office, I was sitting at my desk and a coworker walked over and started asking me questions. She asked me about marriage and kosher foods and such stuff. Then she was like "you're not one of those crazy Jews, are you?"

I was like "what do you mean?"

she said "Well you know, you don't want one of those bearded fella's that wear suits everyday, and I see you don't dress so warmly in the middle of the summer like S (frummy in my office) does."

I started cracking up, and said "I'm nothing like that."

And she asked me a bunch more questions, and she was like "well, thats good, I'm glad you're not crazy like her [S]"

I just laughed.

A few weeks after that, I started chatting with the same lady, and I told her how one of my friends was miserable because she already hit her 21st birthday and was not engaged yet. I told her I thought she was a complete nut for driving herself so crazy, big whoop, 21. Mazel tov if you find him, goodluck for the next year, right? Why worry?

My coworker was like "Yea, S ONLY talks about marraige. First it was her kids, now its about grandkids and nieces and nephews and other friends. Thats ALL that is in her head."

I was like "yup, its terribly annoying"

And well...My point here is, is that those who hate Jews will hate Jews. Some will hate the Jews that are crazy like S, but not mind Jews who are seemingly not-crazy like myself. Others will hate us all. and others will ONLY hate the type like me.

This isn't about fingerpointing, or anything.
It just is what it is.

People who want to hate you will, no matter how much you remain out of the spotlight.

Do I recommend a Jew run for President? HELL NO! But a Jew shouldn't feel that the only place to live is Boro Park for fear that he'll be hated outside of this modern-day shtetl.


Mikeinmidwood said...

not everyone hates us but those who dont differentiate between any type of jew.

frumskeptic said...

there are some that differentiate and then hate. we shouldn't worry about pleasing. the goal is to make sure ure comfy in ur skin and with ur actions and not dwell on what you're told will make u comfy and less hated.

Jessica said...

"You can't control how the people around you act, but you can control your reaction to them." - My mom

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

The shiurim you go to are obviously based on traditionalistic ('ghettoised', perhaps) interpretations of Jewish texts, and not the speakers' own ideas (which is why they're always saying the same thing). And they probably weren't 'classes' about 'how to get non-Jews to stop hating you', but 'dogmatic lectures' quoting rabbis of previous generations about 'why non-Jews generally hate Jews', with the same goal in mind as the people they're quoting had when they origionally said it; encouragment of "frummy persuits"..

David said...

"And basically that is the main opinion amongst shuirim/classes I've attended. If Jews only remained secluded to ghettos, no one would bother them or hate them."

Yes! That theory worked really well in Mediaeval Europe and Russia! We lived happily in ghettos, and they hardly bothered us at all!

Frankly, there may (or may not) be excellent reasons to be frum. However, being frum because of anti-Semites is probably the dumbest reason I've ever heard.

Your religion is probably too important a life choice to allow random bigots to make it for you.

frumskeptic said...

David- You are very right.

mlevin said...

David - a bit of historical correction, Jews in Russian Empire didn't live in ghettos. They lived in shtetles (villages) and were not allowed to move from them. Ghetto life was different in a sense that Jews had curfew and there was a limit to how many butchers, rabbis, bankers, silversmiths and etc was allowed per ghetto. So, in my opinion a ghetto life was more difficult than a shtetle life.

frumskeptic said...

mlevin- eitherway, the Jews were persecuted even though they kept to themselves.

m00kie said...

i dont think the point of those speakers is that if you dont leave the ghetto you wont be hated. the point is that even if you do leave the ghetto, you will still be hated.
i think its fair to say that anyone who hates - will hate those in the ghetto or out of the ghetto.

as for your coworker disliking S but not you, it doesnt mean she's prejudiced against certain kinds of jews and accepts others - it means she hates anyone who is different from her (and in this case, anyone "too" jewish). thats not antisemitism, its just intolerance of anyone different.

Lion of Zion said...

have you ever thought about going to shiurim in a different venue that the ones you've been going to?

i mean i can't remember you ever once saying you really enjoyed or were inspired by a shiur. so why do you keep on going back to the same type of shiurim given by the same type of people?

frumskeptic said...

The shuirim I've been inspired by were so few, and so long ago...

Plus they wouldn't make interesting posts..or maybe they would. I wouldn't know.

I do have specific people I call when I need some words of encouragment though. :)

These days, I decided I'm going to try and avoid shuirim.

frumskeptic said...

mooke- they said taht in the ghettos, even if hated, nothing would happen, because we'd be out of their way.

Lion of Zion said...

"These days, I decided I'm going to try and avoid shuirim."

i'm not saying that you have to avoid shiurim. just that there is a world out there beyond brooklyn. try drisha, yu's midreshet yom rishon, etc.

Frayda said...

I'm not trying to be rude, but isn't it lashon hara to talk about S that way?

frumskeptic said...

I wouldn't know.