Sunday, August 4, 2019
My Jewish Identity in Conflict Essay -- Personal Narrative Writing
My Jewish Identity in Conflict When I think of my "cultural identity," my religion--Judaism--comes to mind first and foremost. When I think of my Jewish identity in conflict, racism (in my case "anti-Semitism") is the obvious factor. But to fully define my conflict with my religious identity, I cannot only write from personal experiences with racism. I must also include the anti-Semitism that my forefathers have endured, from the beginning of time up to today, ranging from the Spanish Inquisition to the Holocaust, from the massacre at the Munich Olympics to Iraq's actions in the Persian Gulf War. From direct racism and intended hatred to subtle racism in the form of jokes and passing comments, anti-Semitism has played a big part in my life, and a huge part in the history of my religion. From the beginning of time, Jews have been oppressed. Dating back to the times of Moses and on until the 15th century with the Spanish Inquisition, the Jewish people have been prosecuted solely because of their religious beliefs. Their courageous battles over time against their oppressors merit much admiration. Perhaps the Jewish people's greatest tragedy ever is the Holocaust of World War II. In Nazi Germany and throughout Europe in the 1930's and 40's, Jews were branded with yellow arm patches of Jewish stars. They were sandwiched onto boxcars--literally stacked on top of one another--and deported to concentration camps, where the old, the women, and the children were systematically murdered upon arrival. At liberation in 1945, over six million Jews had been killed in these inhumane concentration camps. Somehow, the Jews survived through Adolph Hitler and the Nazis to persevere. But discrimination continued. In 1972 at the Olympic Ga... ...ver hate someone because of their religion, or race, or creed, or descent. It is wrong, and I will never do it. I don't hate Palestinians; I hate their government and their cruel methods of what they call "freedom-fighting" (what most call terrorism). I don't hate Lebanese people; I despise their leader and his slaughterous ways. I used to stand up for my Judaism only in certain times, when I wouldn't feel embarrassed. Now, when my religious identity is challenged, I proudly stand up for my Judaism, defending my heritage at all times. We are taught never to forget. Forgive, but do not forget. Once these historical tragedies are forgotten, they will repeat themselves in disastrous, deadly fashion. It can be stopped. It must be stopped. It's up to each person to do their part. I'm just trying to do mine. A little piece of the puzzle, but each little piece counts.