I am a woman. And I am a Jew.

These are the only two things I can say about myself that have always been true. So, I suppose it makes sense that those are the two things that most define me. Both at times have put me at a disadvantage, but they have also given me unique perspectives-  an ability to identify with other humans on the planet.

I can cry for the girl sold in marriage, and with the mother who fears for her children. I can understand the Muslim pride of faith, and the Asian respect for tradition. I can rail against bigotry and hatred, and rage about sexism and homophobia. I can see where assumptions, preconceptions, judgments and hatred can destroy something before its begun.

I can see these things, because I’ve been a little of all of them. As a woman and a Jew, my individual and collective history have taught me all the good and all the evil that humans are capable of.

I guess what I am saying is that we are who we are. White. Black. Muslim. Jew. Buddhist. Christian. Woman. Man. Inuit. African. Asian.  And who we are brings with it history and culture, understanding and wisdom. Insight and curiosity.

As the grandchild of Survivors, I was always taught that good people can do bad things and that we must always be aware, be alert. Never be silent or by-stand when someone is being harmed– in any way…

 

Read more on The 5percent Club

Standing at the checkout counter watching the young woman struggle to scan my 18 pound turkey, my coat still wet from day three of torrential rains, the dude behind me looks disdainfully at my turkey, then at me, then at my turkey, and then back at me. I raise my eyebrows, daring him to speak.

He accepts the challenge. His face half pity and half condescension, he drawls, “I never really ‘got’ Thanksgiving. It’s so silly. You’re in Israel now, be Israeli. Stop being so American.” Then he adds, “I’m French.”
I stood looking at this man in all his self righteous glory. On a good day, I have no patience for idiots. On day three of wet and cold? My patience had washed away long before. Many, many retorts ran through my mind — but, quite unlike me, I held my tongue… mostly.

 

Read the entire article on Times of Israel