On Hate and My Judaism

I don’t much think of myself as Jewish, but I am a Jew. Growing up in the Northeast, being Jewish isn’t such a big deal. In grammar school, a few kids did accuse me of killing Jesus. But having been raised with zero religious education, I had no idea what they were talking about. I’m not even sure I knew who Jesus was at that point, actually.

I know it’s different to be Jewish in other parts of the country and in other countries. (It can be scary to be Christian, Jewish, Asian, Muslim…)

When I went to The University of Michigan, there were kids from the North who’d never met a Jewish person before. One guy told me he didn’t expect me to look like him. I assume he was expecting horns?

In recent years, I’ve read a lot about the Holocaust and what happened to the Jewish people. (I know many, many, many others were also killed. I mourn equally the excruciating suffering of all who were tortured or murdered or hurt in any way.) It’s horrifying beyond understanding.

But mostly, it makes no sense. What is hate? Why do we hate? Why do we want to destroy, destruct, kill, humiliate, maim, shame? Just because someone is Jewish, Muslim, Black, White, Yellow or a martian? (And though I am a non-practicing Jew, of course that would mean nothing to someone who wants to annihilate the race.)

I can, of course, extrapolate out — why do we hate/humiliate fat people, unattractive people, old people or just about anyone who is ‘other’?

I know there are reasons and histories and a lot fear, but hurting others just makes no sense. How can I feel better when someone else suffers? Why would I feel like more when someone else has less?

We humans are very strange.

And while I believe everyone has the right to march peaceably, I still don’t get the hate.

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