Thursday, August 7, 2008

What is it with the Jews?

If you are anti-Semitic, Nazi-ish or just a closet Jew-hater, this post is not for you. Sorry to lure you in with the promising title, but here you will not find what you seek. Get gone with you.

(Everyone else: listen to the sound of all the mean people leaving the blog. *Click*).

What is it with the Jews? Since I moved to NYC, I have met exactly three men who I was absolutely certain were kind, decent, straight up, right in the head and right in the heart guys: all Jews. All of them have been my friends the entire time I have lived in NYC and all of them have wanted to be more than friends and have remained genuine and steadfast in their friendships with me in spite of my lack of romantic reciprocation. I go silent for months and they always email and call. I say "don't kiss me, ever" and they say, "That's cool, but I totally love you."

If you're wondering why I wouldn't just go with it and date one of these fine people, it's because I am Catholic, and my Catholicism, though shabby and not going well, is irreversible. And I think you all know I wouldn't raise a child Jewish. I couldn't do it. And if you know much about Jewish people, you know that even a secular Jew isn't going to taking their kids to CCD. No way.

So what's the point?

And yet damn it all if... well, see the above.

And you know what else? I am in financial ruins right now. Ruins. Smoke and ashes. Many many many good people have offered to help. But you know who banged my door right the fuck down and saved my ass - and did it in a way that ensured I couldn't be prideful and reject her help outright?

Sorority sister from way back in the day. Big star of David wearing observant Jew fixed some stuff for me in a way that I couldn't do for myself and in a way that I couldn't afford to refuse and though she knows I won't accept it, she basically left her wallet on the table, too.

Considering how much certain supposedly Christian people have behaved recently, my brain is turned inside out right now and it has made me wonder, anyway. Just a historical question that I demand that you not try to answer in comments: whose idea was it to be all hateful about Jewish people, exactly? Is it merely that biblical shit about Israel in Egypt that started the beef? Because Jews... at least the ones in my corner? Good people. All of them.

20 comments:

Avitable said...

I've never understood it either, but I just lump it with other types of racism that I don't understand. It's definitely unfortunate and stupid.

And I love Jewish women, too.

Sizzle said...

I love the Jews. And I went to 13 years of Catholic school. Maybe because I don't attend Catholic church and am decidedly against some of the stuff they preach I have an easier time with thinking I could be with a Jew?

I'd say 60% of my friends are Jewish.

Heidi said...

I've been reading your blog for a while after my friend P introduced me to it when my mom was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. I haven't posted before, but I've been sending you well wishes and toasts. I was raised Christian and my husband of 2 years is Jewish. He is one of the kindest, most generous, and most loyal men I have ever met. It was difficult for my mother at first, especially when we played dreidel on Christmas Eve once, but now she can't help loving him because of the kind of guy he is. Religion has come to mean much less for me over the years after getting so fed up with so many hypocrites (I was also not raised Catholic, which I know is quite different), so I don't mind raising the kids reform Jewish as long as they are kind people. My husband said he would be happy raising one kid Jewish and one kid Christian, explaining that it would make for very entertaining arguments at the dinner table. All I know is that for me the religious issues have paled in comparison to the happiness I have found, which didn't seem possible during the 6 soul-deadening years before I met my love. Sorry for the abundant cheese! I have found that in my life, whenever I make rules about what I should or shouldn't do (like no dating someone 3 years younger, like my husband!), life laughs in my face. I'm so sorry about your father and all you have gone through, and I wish you moments of peace and beauty amidst all of the sadness.

Em said...

Hamentashen are really good too.

Annie said...

I have always wondered about it myself.I have no answer. Stupidity is the best guess I can come up with. Now for you Nina-I respect your belief system, but closing the door on anyone wonderful for any reason is just closed minded.
Open that brilliant mind of yours and quit saying no to life. Now I have to go take my own advice :-).

maryse said...

listen to heidi. she gives good advice.

nightfly said...

All my reading tells me that the Jews are the heirs to the promise. To hate them is to hate oneself, in effect, because it is of the Jews that the Messiah has come.

I'm just glad that good people are helping you out, Nina.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I have a good friend who is a practicing Catholic, married to a Jewish man. They have a daughter together who is being raised Catholic, so it is doable.

I was raised protestant and became Catholic in my 30s. Several years later, I met my biological mother (I was adopted at birth), and she converted to Judaism after I had been given up for adoption. So... we just love each other for the things we have in common and respect each others differing views.

I don't know many Jewish people, but the ones I do know are very respectful and kind. I'm glad you have some good friends in your corner.

catherine said...

I can't imagine. Love Jewish people (love their FOOD. Latkes, anyone? mmmmm!) This has always been a mystery to me. I just do not get it. Also? I filled in camp counseling at a Jewish day camp last summer and was struck by the exact sameness it had to the CYO camps I adored growing up. I was like, wow, this is just a variation on a theme. It's just kids and adults, humans, playing and eating and doing projects together, just like we did. No mysterious difference.

LizB said...

All religious pondering aside, I'm just glad someone is reaching out to take care of you, and I'm glad you are letting them. That is wonderful.

Dagny said...

I hate religion for that very reason.

Everyone is the same, why try to be so different?

xoxo

Maggie said...

Avi, you love all woman, admit it.

Avitable said...

Maggie, this is true.

Kate P said...

I don't understand it, either--but judging anybody by religion or race is incomprehensible for most people (I hope). It might offend some people for me to say this, but as a Catholic I think of Judaism as my heritage, too, and appreciate it.

Mr. Bingley said...

Ah heck, I just always figure that as a Christian I am Jew 2.0

Maggie said...

Kate P, I agree! We all came out of the desert in the same tradition, yes?

Mr. Bingley, I almost agree. Except that sometimes I think we Christians went a little too far with the tweaking. Like that we're Vista and maybe we should have stuck with XP.

Mr. Bingley said...

So is St. Paul Bill Gates or Steve Ballmer? :)

fivehusbands said...

I linked over from Avitable - I know how hard it is (I lost my job in January 08.

Please accept my condolences on your father's death.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

PS I commented here because I was raised catholic (sang in the choir, went to mass everyday, studied theology kind of catholic) and I converted to Judaism over 20 years ago - just for myself. Members of my family are card carrying fervent catholics and are among the cruelest and unkind people I know.

Mrs. Who said...

I hope I can say this without upsetting anyone, but if I wasn't Catholic, I'd be Jewish. I just don't understand Christians who don't full understand that Jesus was a practicing Jew till the day he died.

I'm glad you have such good friends no matter their religion.

ByJane said...

And if I wasn't Jewish, I'd be Catholic. We're two sides of the same coin. If you're familiar with Catholic liturgy, then you'll feel pretty much at home in a synagogue. So, follow your heart...