Growing Up Jewish

Growing Up Jewish

As a whole, we must overcome antisemitism once and for all.

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Looking at the recent events that took place at the Tree of Life synagogue located in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, I am filled with absolute disgust and frustration. The fact that in 2018, after all, we have overcome as a society, there are still people out there who believe they are better than a select group of people due to their religion, gender, or the color of their skin. The fact that just recently a group of 29 innocent practicing Jewish people were maliciously shot due to outrageous hate in one man's cold heart.

This is precisely why I am writing this article. As someone who grew up practicing Judaism it scares me that just a few hours from where I used to attend synagogue every Friday and Saturday, this shooting occurred.

While growing up in Pennsylvania, it is not uncommon to know multiple Jewish people. In fact, there are more Jewish people in the Northeast than many other areas of the United States. From birth to the age of thirteen, I felt completely safe within my community, regardless of my religion. I felt that I could express my faith as every other person can.

I would often time spend most of the weekend during my childhood with my grandparents on my dad's side. They would take me to synagogue and celebrate Shabbat every week. They taught me to love who I am and appreciate my own Jewish values.

Whenever Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah, came around most of my family was together celebrating. I was taught all the prayers, learned to cook every Jewish dish, and despite being the oldest grandchild at the table, I read the famous four questions every year. Altogether, we remembered why we were celebrating each and every holiday. Altogether, we sang the songs and chanted every prayer.

The day of my Bat Mitzvah was my thirteenth birthday. The day I waited for my whole life was finally here. I practiced and studied relentlessly, as every Jewish child ready to be an adult in the community does. This day came and went, and soon enough my family was packed up two days later and moved all the way down to Georgia.

This is where my story changes. Where we moved there was no synagogue in an hour radius of my family's new house, but also rarely did I ever see another Jewish person. I went through an enormous culture shock, regarding how unopen to coexist with anyone who was different from them.

I began to feel like I could not express my religious roots. I felt as though I was an outsider, and only recently have I been able to open up about my religious beliefs. This is after six years of being scared to talk about what I believe in.

As someone who practices Judaism, I am in complete shock and disbelief that there are still hate crimes occurring in America. As a nation, we should be advanced enough to not hate someone because of something they cannot control or something they believe in.

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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To Donald Trump: Thank U, Next

Look what you taught us.

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What Donald Trump taught me is that it is not essential for the president to care about his country. Con-artistry goes a long way when communicating with people who are tired of the same political jargon.

His simple-minded but outlandish promises convinced people significant change was coming. Donald Trump taught me that never again do I want a president to be thought of as "one of us."

Instead, I want someone smart, ethical and who has taken a basic civics course — someone who will take care of minorities and make those in dire situations a priority instead of stock market prices.

I want a president that doesn't brag about sexually assaulting women. I want a president that doesn't go on social media and blame homicide victims for not being armed. I want a president that doesn't complain about money when people are dying and losing their homes in a massive fire.

However, with that being said, I also want to give thanks to Trump. Because of him, the next generation sees how crucial it is to get out and vote. Most of your elders probably never spoke to an LGBTQ person, but you and your siblings grew up with LGBTQ friends, and you would never want them to be treated any lesser than you. You grew up with women dominating television. You grew up under the leadership of an African American president. You grew up in a world that was changing.

Some people don't like change, but you are the future, and it is your decision what you want that future to be. So thank you Donald Trump, for being the last big push Americans needed to completely change a world that was once dominated by violence and hate crimes. However, I think most of us can agree we are ready for what's coming next.

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