I can’t believe that I’ve managed to reach my ripe old age and still haven’t managed to find a reason to hate Jews. What am I missing?
I grew up in a small Southern Virginia town where there was what might seem like a surprising number of Jews. Their prominence wasn’t because of their numbers, though, but because they were highly motivated, generally successful and owned a lot of local businesses.
So far, these qualities seem to demand admiration and emulation rather than envy or hate, so there must be something else.
Other things I learned about Jews as I was growing up in Fieldale, a near clone of Mayberry RFD:
- They go to a different church, on a different day.
(So did Kurt Ray, a 7th Day Adventist, who also owned a business.)
- They don’t take the New Testament as gospel.
- They have a very strong sense of community, yet always seem to welcome ‘outsiders.’
- They have a bunch of neat, yet strange and interesting foods, holidays and traditions.
- They wear funny hats. (But so does the Pope)
- Jewish weddings are fun.
- Touch the mezuzah to show respect (and for good luck) when you enter a Jewish home.
- Jewish kids get shafted at Christmas, but they get a huge, blow-out party when they turn 13 that makes up for it.
- Jesus was a Jew.
- Just like Christians, there are all kinds; from strictly observant all the way to who the Hell cares.
(BTW: They don’t believe in Hell either.)
- Adolph Hitler and the Nazi party wanted to kill all of them, and they were almost successful.
- They pretty much ran the Entertainment industry, and were good at it.
And that was what I grew up knowing about Jews.
(Oh yeah, Jewish girls were hot, but that’s another topic.)
One of my first jobs was at an Iron and Steel fabricator and recycler, owned by two Jewish brothers, Sam and Fred Kaplan. We worked four, nine-hour days and got off at Noon on Fridays. Who wouldn’t like that?
Later I added two more Iron and Steel companies to my resume, and they were both owned and operated by — you guessed it, Jewish brothers. I learned more than how to design and build steel stairs in these jobs. By observation alone, I learned valuable business and negotiation techniques, the value of win-win tactics, and the dangers of zero-sum thinking. I also learned how to take advantage of anything from an error in tense to a missing comma in a contract – another valuable skill.
Unfortunately, in recent years another line-item got added to my “things I know about Jews” list:
- Radical Islamists want to kill all of them, closely followed by Christians and any other faith that isn’t theirs.
As far as the religion thing goes, if someone is a good human being and pretty much follows the Golden Rule, I don’t care if they worship God, Jesus, Mary, Cows, Trees, idols, hub caps or nothing for that matter – it’s not my business until they start doing harm to me or others.
I’ve always given myself credit for being intelligent, insightful, well-read and open-minded, so I have to ask again. What am I missing?
Is it because people are afraid of what they don’t understand, and project that fear into hatred?
When one takes the time and makes an effort to learn about the Jewish people and their faith, rich traditions and commitment to peace, the fear and hate make absolutely zero sense.
The Israelis want nothing more than to stop being bombed and murdered.
Perhaps the question should be “What is everyone else missing?”
And that’s the question from Egg Manor.
aka The Original Eggman
Accept No Imitations
Suggestions for Further Reading: