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Published Thursday, August 25, 2016, 8:27 am

A Jew is a Jew

By Maury Adkins

Jew: A noun rather than an adjective. Many of the appellations attached to “Jew” seem to serve very little purpose other than dividing our people. A Jew is a Jew is a Jew. It’s rather simple even for the extreme literalists among us.

So why the rub? Why the hostility? Why the taking to social media and worse yet Jewish publications and websites to bash each other before G-d and anyone else who chooses to read the vilification of Jews by Jews?

There are times we need to speak with our fellow Jew about a matter of concern or a behavior that is negative and hurtful not only to the person doing it but to the Jewish people and G-d. Rebuke is also sometimes needful. Those times should be, whenever possible, in private and in person NOT on social media. Jews calling each other names is wrong on many levels and doing so in a public venue is much worse and much more harmful and divisive.

I don’t agree with many things said by some of my fellow Jews. I am sure many feel the same way about me and my thoughts and words. So be it. We are all individuals and have different thoughts, ideals, and histories which have brought us to where we are today. Sometimes the things advanced by others are hard to swallow; hard to remain silent about. Again, there is an appropriate manner in which to deal with such and again it is NOT on social media or through gossip or slander with other Jews. G-d forbid such takes place but it does.

With most of the world against it for the sake of G-d we need to stop ripping and tearing at each other and focus instead of loving each other and being unified. We are brothers and sisters and we have a congenital and unbreakable bond. Let’s start living like it.

In the final analysis I have no right to judge you and neither have you the right to judge me. Of course that doesn’t keep it from happening. There are days I am an absolute rotter. What comes out of my mouth in anger shocks me. My reaction to certain people and situations reveals the depth of my hypocrisy. How can I having overcome so much darkness, having received so much love, grace, and acceptance ever fail to offer to the same to anyone I meet? Especially my fellow Jew? G-d forbid I should be such an arrogant pig to think I am right and you are wrong and I am better than you for being right. Could my arrogance cause anything other than division? G-d forbid I should fail to honor and respect my fellow Jew and my fellow man. We may disagree but we don’t have to be uncivil in the process. Do we?

It grieves my heart when I read hateful words from one Jew to another. “Love others as you love yourself”. A loaded command but what’s not to love? We all struggle. We all have fears, foibles, anxieties, and imperfections. Most of us want others to love us, warts and all. Is it not fair and reasonable for us to offer the same to others? It’s hard sometimes and when you are really trying to love others there’ll be some who make it harder than ever to love them. Love them any way. You’ll both be better for it.

As Jews we must pull closer to each other rather than resisting the love between us. Life is much sweeter and more joyous when we live it in love and forgiveness. Give it a shot today. Who knows you may be pleasantly surprised.

May we all spread the immense love and Light we’ve been given from our Creator.

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