Article Discussion: Affirming My Jewish Identity in America

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September 24, 2010 at 9:00 am #5074


Click here to read the article: Affirming My Jewish Identity in America

September 24, 2010 at 3:43 pm #5076


I am glad that you found what Judaism means to you. Frankly, whether or not you converted, you can always run into someone that will challenge your Judaism – would that mean doing something else to please that person or group’s view?

I think until we as a people get beyond the notation of who is a Jew and for some, get off the high horse that they are the true authority, we won’t be united as a people.

September 28, 2010 at 5:23 pm #5083

Neil Kominsky

Yay, Lily!! Keep on journeying! Getting there is half the fun, or more.

September 28, 2010 at 6:04 pm #5084


Dear Lily:

I am sorry that you were treated poorly by that scholar. As the Coordinator of the Half-Jewish Network, I can assure you that you are not alone.

If you visit our website, you’ll see hundreds of supportive postings from half-Jewish people from all over the world. We are at:

Robin Margolis

September 29, 2010 at 3:45 am #5087


If you are drawn to meditation, I highly recommend you look into the writings of Aryeh Kaplan, especially his book “Jewish Meditation: A Practical Guide”. He was a modern day scholar of ancient Jewish mystical traditions, an Orthodox rabbi, and champion of Jewish meditation and mysticism. He brought ancient Jewish meditative practices to modern Jewish life, and his work is very accessible.

December 1, 2012 at 12:50 am #8809


This article meant so much to me.

I’ve struggled because my family (on both sides, but more on my Mother’s) is Jewish, but they hid it, and covered it up, and I grew up thinking otherwise about my identity until I did a little digging. After just a few findings I am more than sure about my Jewishness.

The problem is, I’m still doing the digging, and I’m in limbo and can’t “prove” my Jewishness, yet. When you’re in 19th century Europe and displaced from your original country and surrounded by anti-Semitism, it’s understandable that you would hide it and shut it up. Back then, you didn’t want it proven.
That’s the tough part. Completely taking on an identity I have held all my life (begging my parents to celebrate passover was only a small part of my childhood) has been difficult, not because I resist it, but because for many, being Jewish is fitting into accepted norms, almost stereotypes. It’s scary – would I be accepted as Jewish? Would I be labeled a fake, or worse, a wannabe? Or will people understand that my family simply suffered the fate of many – assimilate and hide, or else?

I don’t know. Your post really helped inspire me to own my Jewishness no matter what someone else’s opinion is. Finding my Jewishness filled that empty place in my soul that I had been seeking to fill since I was a child. While I might not have the biggest collection of Bar Mitzvah records, at the very least I have a Jewish soul, and a Jewish family, and that is all that counts.

Thank you, very very much.

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