Why should I be proud to be Jewish?
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- This topic has 20 replies, 15 voices, and was last updated 9 years, 7 months ago by rebdoniel.
August 18, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm #610385Bored214Participant
Someone asked me this question as they need to explain this to a group of non affiliated/3 days a year (Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur) type of jewish group. what would you answer?August 18, 2013 6:27 pm at 6:27 pm #971281Chochom-ibberParticipant
From a non-affiliated point of view Id say: Think of it as an exclusive close knit family/club. We have gone through tons, we have sacrificed for each other. For thousands of years our ancestors sacrificed for us, and we continue in their ways. As communities go you wont find a more helping one. Agudah Achas, Ahavas Yisroel. Without getting into The Chosen People shmooze.August 18, 2013 7:06 pm at 7:06 pm #971282oomisParticipant
One of the main reasons is that Jews are the most compassionate and caring people in the world, whose chessed and tzedaka are disproportionate to our numbers. We get those Middos from Avraham Avinu and Sara Emainu. We also are disproportionately the greatest contributers of scientific advances and discoveries, in relation to the rest of the world. That, too, is not an accident.August 18, 2013 9:25 pm at 9:25 pm #971283LevAryehMember
From a purely politically correct standpoint, there are many mushy answers you could give. Any spin on what the people above me wrote would work.
In truth, though, you’ve asked a stumper. Why would a completely irreligious Jew be proud to be Jewish?
We say every night in Krias Shema Al Hamitah, “Ve’Atah Hashem magen ba’adi, kevodi u’merim roshi…” Hashem is my source of pride. That’s the source of Jewish pride.
Without God, what is a Jew?
That being said, an American takes pride in his/her country’s accomplishments. A black person will take pride in black people’s accomplishments.
So you could point out to this group in plain statistical terms the huge percentage of “accomplishments” which Jews have garnered. Think Hollywood, Nobel prize winners, leading medical researchers, and even the military power of the IDF.
Though this is not the true Jewish pride we as religious Jews strive for, it can definitely instill a feeling in them that God is clearly on our side.August 18, 2013 9:26 pm at 9:26 pm #971284ToiParticipant
one word. herring.August 18, 2013 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm #971285nfgo3Member
Re post by Toi: If Jews invented herring, I might agree with you.
Pride in being Jewish is as unsound as any other form of ethnic pride, or any pride in anything other than one’s own accomplishments. I did not survive a concentration camp, or a pogrom. I did not discover penicillin or the theory of relativity, I did not write the Mishneh Torah or the Shulchan Aruch.
I give tzedukkah – that is something to be proud of. Hashem requires me, as a Jew, to give tzedukkah – that is nothing to be proud of, unless I do it. Hashem gives me a Jewish soul – that is nothing to be proud of. Hashem requires me to put on tefillin – that is nothing to be proud of, but putting on tefillin – that’s something to be proud of.August 19, 2013 12:16 am at 12:16 am #971286Charles ShortMember
Should I be proud if I am a non-Jew?August 19, 2013 2:48 am at 2:48 am #971287writersoulParticipant
LevAryeh: that is EXACTLY what I was thinking. I just didn’t have time to write it.
Why should someone who isn’t affiliated be proud to be Jewish? Why be proud of something you demonstrate that you couldn’t care less about?
The ONLY thing I can think of is what you mentioned about accomplishments. It’s like when an alumnus/a of your school from ten years ago goes on to do something famous and every time you hear their name, you’re like, “Wow! That’s so cool! I KNOW that person!” even though you two never met in your lives. You just went to the same school ten years ago, but the school is a community you identify yourself with so that you identify with other members of the community. But I think that’s coming at it from the wrong angle. First you need to establish the connection, the feeling that it’s important that I’m Jewish just like he is. If Judaism isn’t an important part of your life in the first place, why would I care about or identify with someone who’s Jewish?
So the first step would seem to be to get the people to identify with being Jewish. But how do you do that? By making them proud to be Jewish. And so the cycle continues.
But either way, nfgo3, I so agree with you, happens to be.August 19, 2013 3:33 am at 3:33 am #971288mddMember
Writesoul, many Jews, especially, outside of the US define Jews as an ethnic group and lav davka a religious one. I know, I know — the kanoim are already going crazy…August 19, 2013 7:29 am at 7:29 am #971289YW Moderator-42Moderator
I always wondered why it is that people feel pride when a local sports team wins. I’m not talking about big fans, but people who might not even be able to name one player on the team. For example, if a little league team from Brooklyn goes to the Little League World Series, everybody in Brooklyn, and even throughout NY, is so proud of them even though they had never even known of their existence until now. But when they hear that this “local” team won, they feel pride. This seems to be a natural thing that people feel a connection to the people who they have some sort of “shaychus” to. This shaychus can be that they live in the same city or country (olympics) or it could be that they are somehow “related”. That same pride can be felt about “family” even if it is family that you’ve never met. And all Jews are “family”.
This doesn’t have anything to do with Judaism itself, it is just a natural feeling. Once a person has that feeling you can try to use it to bring them closer to the religious part of the religion.August 19, 2013 8:15 am at 8:15 am #971290Bored214Participant
Wow thanks people! these are great points. LA – that was my exact problem, we as jews feel proud because we know what the torah is really about and because being jewish is so intrinsic to us we just do feel proud, and cant necessarily explain why, but we cant exactly say to them you dont understand it because you dont understand th torah.
Mod 42 – i love your point about supporting the teams, its a great mashal.
I did come across a great article on ikehilla which had a list of 18 reasons why it’s great to be jewish.
So i’m trying to work along the lines of jewish values, jewish families, jewish communities, though they are not unique to being jewish they originated from the jewish people (refer to Ken Spiro’s book it’s excellent) and by virtue of being jewish they are automatically a part of the “jewish familY”, and families feel connected and responsible for each other and in the dynamics of family relationships, relationships are about giving in order to love and i’ve focused on the multitude of chesed organisations created by jews, the concept of gemachs etc,
what do you think?
ps – anyone heard the shlockrock song – the tug – it could be from Abie Rotenberg originally, it’s a great song which really encompasses what we’re trying to say.August 19, 2013 1:26 pm at 1:26 pm #971291Nigritude UltramarineMember
Of course. Also, you should be proud to be a human being.August 19, 2013 3:22 pm at 3:22 pm #971292daivdMember
because you HASHEM’S child
(what a stupid question )August 19, 2013 3:55 pm at 3:55 pm #971293heretohelpMember
@david wrote “because you HASHEM’S child
(what a stupid question )”
And an equally stupid answer. For starters, everyone is Hashem’s child. For another thing, that is not an accomplishment.August 19, 2013 4:00 pm at 4:00 pm #971294heretohelpMember
@david wrote “because you HASHEM’S child
(what a stupid question )”
And an equally stupid answer. For starters, everyone is Hashem’s child. For another thing, that is not an accomplishment.August 19, 2013 4:04 pm at 4:04 pm #971295writersoulParticipant
mdd: True, but I was taking “unaffiliated” at face value. Of course, if the people already identify with, well, I guess a way to put it could be Judaism as opposed to Yiddishkeit, then your job is made a lot easier.
It’s if Judaism is an absolute nothing in your life (as was my probably unfounded assumption) that you’re REALLY in trouble.
Once one has some form of Jewish identity this all becomes a lot easier.August 19, 2013 4:47 pm at 4:47 pm #971296oomisParticipant
Everyone is Hashem’s child, but not everyone give Him Kibud Av.August 19, 2013 5:26 pm at 5:26 pm #971297LevAryehMember
@nfgo3 As the mishna in Avos says (don’t remember the exact lashon) Im lamad’ta Torah harbeh al tachzik tova l’atzmecha ki lekach notzarta.August 19, 2013 9:51 pm at 9:51 pm #971298Charles ShortMember
Thank you for not making me a fungi.August 19, 2013 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm #971299HaLeiViParticipant
“ For starters, everyone is Hashem’s child.”
Not necessarily, as was well explained >>HERE<<.August 20, 2013 6:26 am at 6:26 am #971301rebdonielMember
We brought ethical monotheism into the world. Our faith is that of patriarchs, prophets, and priests. We preached a G-d of justice and eternity and love in a day when others believed in capricious and fickle deities. That’s an awful lot to be proud of.
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