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To Be a Jew

by Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D.

To be a Jew is to see the world through the eyes of God. It to be unreconciled to the world as it is, to be discontented with the status quo and unafraid to shake It.

To be a Jew Is to be a co-worker with God In the task of perfecting the world, --- It is to know that the world Is unredeemed and that God needs us to help redeem It.

To be a Jew is to feel deeply the harms done to others - to speak out In-the face of wrong doing, and to prod the conscience of those who passively accept the status quo.

To be a Jew is to stand apart from the world, to be a non-conformist, to shout no when others murmur yes to injustice.

To be a Jew Is to be Intoxicated with a dream of social justice to have an abiding concern for others, to have compassion without condescension for the poor, the weak, and the suffering.

To be a Jew means to know that God's name can be sanctified by each of our actions, It means trying to live a life compatible with being created in God's Image by doing justly, loving kindness, and in all ways Imitating God’s positive attributes.

To be a Jew means to believe in the unlimited potential of people in spite of the great evil and ugliness around us. It means being chosen to serve as an example, to be "a light unto the nations."

To be a Jew means of course many specific practices concerning Shabbat and kashruth. It means study and worship, and most of all action and observance. It means all these things and much, much more. It is not easy to be a Jew, but it is a very significant and worthwhile endeavor.