Thursday, August 04, 2005

Short Thought of the Day

When I was Orthodox, I felt a separation between myself and non-Jewish people. I was different in a fundamental way, and a Sikh was the same as a Buddhist was the same as a Christian: they weren't Jewish. When I met a non-Jew I knew he would never be a true friend. When my insurance company gave me a list of doctors to choose from, I scanned for Jewish names. When I entered the workforce, I looked for Jewish colleagues. When I heard tragic news from Africa or Asia, I cared, but still identified the victims as other. In some sense, the news about Africa wasn't real in the same way that news about Israel was.

Perhaps it doesn't have to be that way when you are Orthodox, but for me it was.

Now I feel a oneness with all people. It sounds cheesy, but it's true. I don't see Jews and non-Jews, I don't see Jews and Muslims and Christians and atheists, I see this person and this person and this person. When I meet a Muslim, I see a person, not a Muslim. We're all different, but we're all the same.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

are you plugging for the aclu or something!

Marilyn said...

I think that Jesus Christ taught us to see people as individual human beings as he did.

JC Masterpiece said...

All people feel as though they need to be accepted by a group. Within that group mentality there is a belonging, an acceptance, a feeling like you are a part of something bigger than yourself. That is healthy.

Unfortuately with identification with a group there also comes a seperation from those outside of the group. That is completely natural.

Your boundaries have just changed. Your group has gone from Jews vs. Gentiles to more of an *atheism vs. ortodoxy.

The mentality fo division hasn't changed. That will always be there. It is only the direction that that mentality has taken that has changed.

*(This is only an assumption of course. One that i have gathered from reading your posts, but i do not know that this truely is where one of your divisions lay as i do not know you well. If i am incorrect in this than i appologize)

Anonymous said...

JA You are right on this. It is unfortunate that many religionists, and dare I say certain political factions, feel the need to not see the person. I'm sorry that this is what you were taught. 60 years ago WW2 ended you really expect Jews to feel ultra optomistic towards everyone they meet? I have a personal policy I don't really care who the person is, as long as they are a civil decent human being. You have said in other posts that you were orthodox once have you perhaps read Zephania,Zecharia,Isaiah .what about "there shall be one law for native and the convert"?. I think you may find John Locke's a Letter Concerning Toleration useful( see http://www.constitution.org/jl/tolerati.htm) He was the very man whose philosophy gave birth to the U.S. as well as every other democratic-repulic in our post-modern world.If you have greivance with people of religion, do so, but don't have a gripe with God. Your realtionship with Him should not be pritcated on how most religionist mispractice their faith.

Anonymous said...

That is a beautiful thought JA.