But that is our destiny, our call, our task The American writer Milton Himmelfarb once said that we are a tiny people, but great things happen around us and to us.
I did an informal survey last week asking my Aish colleagues what they love about being Jewish. Struggles of being a jewish overlapping themes emerged in the replies. Here are the top 10 in no particular order.
The Jewish people is one big family Wherever we go around the world, we feel that instant connection when we bagel each other. And being part of a big global family means each of us has an international network of people who genuinely care and will help each other. The medrash tells the story of a passenger on a boat who takes out a drill and begins drilling a hole under his seat.
Every Jew is my responsibility; we are different parts to an organic whole. We have the privilege to plumb its endless depths and refine ourselves by wrapping our heads around the source of Truth that transcends this world.
With the national mission to be a light unto nations, every Jew can lead by example and deed. We are partners with God in fixing the world. Part of a chain of history that defies all odds The Jews are one of the oldest nations in the world, and by natural law we should have ceased to exist.
We have survived despite being exiled from our land — twice! This tiny nation miraculously returned to their homeland, revived their language and is making a mark on the world that far surpasses its numbers. As Leo Nikolaivitch Tolstoy wrote in He who neither slaughter nor torture of thousands of years could destroy, he who neither fire, nor sword, nor Inquisition was able to wipe off the face of the earth.
He who was the first to produce the Oracles of God. He who has been for so long the Guardian of Prophecy and has transmitted it to the rest of the world. Such a nation cannot be destroyed. The Jew is as everlasting as Eternity itself. Revolutionary views on women When ancient civilization degraded women, viewing them essentially as chattel, the Torah gave women full protection of their rights in marriage, obligating the husband to honor and cherish his wife.
The respect for women's internal strengths — deep insight, spirituality and intellectual prowess, steadfast commitment to Judaism's moral vision — is obvious from many biblical accounts of Jewish women. The Jewish family The heroes of the Jewish people are the generations of committed mothers and fathers who embraced the sacred task to create a vibrant, loving home and instill Jewish values in their children.
In Judaism it is the home, not the synagogue, that plays the most central role. Jewish life is built around the family coming together — to eat, to learn, to celebrate, to mourn, and most importantly to transmit the torch of our shared heritage to the next generation.
God-consciousness Judaism nurtures the awareness that God is actively involved in everything. There are no accidents; everything that happens to us is purposeful and for the best. Enjoy the physical world Jews are not ascetics; living a Jewish life requires a full immersion in the world.
The challenge is to use the physical as a means to an end, elevating it towards the spiritual, and not let the physical take control of you. So enjoy that vanilla frappaccino.To Struggle: What It Means To Be a Jewish A foundational part of being Jewish is to struggle.
Throughout history, the Jewish people have struggled both physically - with the hardships that they had to face – and intellectually - with what is called a cognitive dissonance.
2. Not knowing the slightest about the Jewish religion what-so-ever. 3.
Teachers, or any higher position, automatically calling you out to ask about a Jewish holiday than being embarrassed because you don't know the answer. It means being steadfast in our loyalty to our people and our land, the home of all our hopes, the place where long ago the Jewish people was born, and where, within living memory, it has been reborn.
Even among practicing Jews, 55% said that being Jewish is mainly a matter of ancestry and culture. Two-thirds claim it is not necessary to believe in God to be Jewish. Throughout more than a hundred generations of our history, we have known that to be a Jew involves struggle -- sometimes with our fellow human beings, sometimes with God, sometimes with both.
Yet in that very name a momentous hope, a promise, was born -- that though the people Israel must struggle, it will always prevail. From the cited text, we know that David himself, despite being one of the most celebrated figures in the Jewish history, also struggles throughout his life.
Although David was the King, he broke three of the Ten Commandments, by committing murder, adultery and coveting his neighbor’s wife.