Let Them Riot In The Sea Of Injustice

So many emotions are running through me at the moment, so many thoughts are flashing in my head. When I heard the statement on whether the murderer of Michael Brown would be charged, a part of me already knew he wouldn’t. Continue reading Let Them Riot In The Sea Of Injustice

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Tzedek, Tzedek Tirdof

I really am trying to figure out how to say what I have to say about the Michael Brown case in the most Jewish way possible, without resorting to malicious speech against people I know, without doing anything else with my words that might harm. I realize that past articles of mine have tiptoed way too close to that fine line, but I opted to submit them on the grounds that what I said needed saying for the sake of educating people about things that were way too serious to be ignored, because according to my understanding of the teachings surrounding lashon hara, I was okay and actually doing something good and important with my words.

However, as I look at social media, particularly Facebook, I see people on my friends list saying things that have me so outraged that I need to speak. Still, I’m left wondering if what I have to say may expose their identities and cross the line if they or a mutual friend reads this. I want for this article to be on time for our publication and for our readers and don’t have the time to consult all of Chofetz Chaim. If I do wrong, I hope that I’m forgiven. But, I’m going to try to speak on what’s said and avoid revealing identities of the speakers.

All that said…  Continue reading Tzedek, Tzedek Tirdof

What Side Should Jewish-Americans Take On Ferguson?

All throughout the Gaza conflict, there were headlines of a certain kind that bothered me in a certain way.

“Israel or Palestine? Do Black People Have A Stake In The Conflict?”
“Why The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Should Matter To Black People”
“What Side Should Black Americans Take On Israel?”
“Why African-Americans Should Support The State of Israel”

It seemed that not five minutes of the continuing conflict would pass by without yet another appeal for the support, input, or opinion of African-Americans on the situation in the Middle East. The rationale of course being parallels drawn between the plight of the Palestinian people and the African American Civil Rights movement (because remember that time African-Americans had missiles to launch at the Klan?) and a convenient case of apparent amnesia regarding the waves of anti-Black anti-immigrant pogroms which had recently swept through Israel.  Continue reading What Side Should Jewish-Americans Take On Ferguson?

Racial Profiling: A Necessary Evil?

Racial profiling is a part of Israel in a way that is not possible in America, both due to Civil Rights laws making discrimination illegal, as well as the current state of political correctness, which makes it unpopular to vocalize that one group of people should be treated differently than another.

This, of course, does not mean that profiling does not happen in the United States. Rather, it becomes subtle, almost an art form, where store clerks turn into master spies, following like a shadow as you move through the store. Or perhaps your car is stopped for a borderline issue which gives a distrustful police officer a pretense to check your license and plates.  Continue reading Racial Profiling: A Necessary Evil?

A Call For Diversity: Parshat Toldot

*JN Magazine thanks Isaiah for sharing his weekly My Jewish Learning series with us.*

“And the boys ran about inside her, and she [Rebecca] said, If this is so, then why am I? and she went to seek God. And God said to her ‘two nations are in your womb, and two are in your insides, and one nation will be stronger than the other and the older shall serve the younger (26:27).”

Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki (France, 12th century) notes that Rebecca expected to mother just the Jewish people and have a singleton birth from which would come the Jewish people. Instead two separate entities grew within her, two powers, two forms of kingship.

But what forms of kingships exactly?  Continue reading A Call For Diversity: Parshat Toldot

Letter To A Racist

Usually when someone says “I’m not a racist, but…” they are about to say the most racist thing you’ve ever heard. There is one exception to this rule.

I’m not a racist, but I was raised by one. There was a lot of pain and relief around the death of my father. I hadn’t spoken to him in years when I heard of his passing – but I did write a letter to him, this is part of it:  Continue reading Letter To A Racist

A Call For Diversity: Parshat Chayei Sara

*JN Magazine thanks Isaiah for sharing his weekly My Jewish Learning series with us.*

Diversity is like a pizza pie. When I get my slice of pizza, I may feel as if no one is about to take part in this mouth watering experience, this mushroom-onion slice is mine, and mine alone. But as I finish, pay and make my way towards the door, I notice others, with a slice almost identical to my own. I pause, and I realize I am seeing double. And as I look at the pizza tray behind the closed glass, I take note, at times against my will, that the pizza others eat comes from the same place mine did. My experience is my own but is it also connected to theirs.  Continue reading A Call For Diversity: Parshat Chayei Sara

My Favourite Six Degrees

Being biracial, multicultural, and multi-ethnic, my family is spread far and wide. For fourteen years I did not see the Dutch-German side, ascending from my German-Jewish mother, into the previous four generations. We still call each other cousins, despite the fact that we can hardly remember how we are related. That’s not the important part, though. My very lovely cousin said to me in confidence, “The most important thing is how you affect other people.”  Continue reading My Favourite Six Degrees