Re NYT article about those who consider themselves partly Jewish

  1. All four of my grandparents were Jewish refugees from the pogroms in Russia.   I had a bar-mitzvah, and though not observant, am Jewish in my consciousness. As the years have passed, my Jewishness has deepened – the core-values of being Jewish having to do with treating the stranger as one of your own, and doing good in the world in the face of non-success in that effort.
    I no longer feel the need to agree with everything Israel does.  I intended never to visit Germany because of the Holocaust, but am going to Berlin later this month – for two reasons. The first is the commemorations there planned for the 50th anniversary of the death of JFK. I was twenty then, and that heartbreak has never gone away. The second is realizing that the darkness in men’s hearts is universal. I feel the sentiments of the Tea Party come from the inhumanity that propelled the Nazis, and they are capable of atrocity in the name of love of country.
    My Jewishness involves with thinking for myself while holding to the principles of the Torah. I believe that the mystery of the universe is beyond man’s capacity to understand. But we have been given our time in it, and my faith is intertwined with believing and not-knowing. I am not an atheist nor an agnostic. I do not judge anyone’s faith, or lack of, as long as there is a heart-center of caring for others. That is the foundation of my Jewishness.

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