Jewish identity in an ever-changing world of identities — is it a crime to claim it?
Is it a crime in claiming “Jewishness” . . . after all, are we not unclear as to Moses’ leanings . . .
The Israelites won’t listen to Moses – maybe the Israelites don’t think of Moses as one of them . . .
וַיְדַבֵּ֣ר מֹשֶׁ֔ה לִפְנֵ֥י יְהֹוָ֖ה לֵאמֹ֑ר הֵ֤ן בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ לֹֽא־שָׁמְע֣וּ אֵלַ֔י וְאֵיךְ֙ יִשְׁמָעֵ֣נִי פַרְעֹ֔ה וַאֲנִ֖י עֲרַ֥ל שְׂפָתָֽיִם׃ פ (Exodus 6:12}
But Moses appealed to יהוה, saying, “The Israelites will not listen to me; how then should Pharaoh heed me, me—who gets tongue-tied!”
Is being Jewish about creating a more just and equitable society? Perhaps it all goes back to Abraham, the first Jew, at least as the Tradition would have it.
In Genesis 18, verses 18 & 19, Gd says that he chose Abraham to be the founder of the Jewish people so that he will bring righteousness and justice into the world, and teach his children and all future generations to do the same.
True, that is a significant part of what being Jewish is about.
Of course, it’s also about a whole host of things, including, but not limited to the Torah and its studies, observing (even in variation) rituals, holidays, Israel as a Jewish homeland, Jewish culture(s), community, food, and the Hebrew language.
Is it also not about being part of a religious family? Can we understand Jews not just as a culture, community, religion, or people — but perhaps as an extended family.
Two Jews might strongly disagree about any given issue, but that’s okay — insofar as they are still part of the same (perhaps better understood as an extended) family.
Who gets to say who we are and who we aren’t?
Tune in this evening, let’s see . . .