February 27, 2020

A Moment in Time: I am a Jew Because ….

Dear all,
As our nation and world have experienced a surge in antisemitism, I took the opportunity to write out my feelings on why I am a Jew. I ask you take a moment in time to read this, consider this, and respond with your own thoughts. (And if you follow another religious or spiritual tradition, please share accordingly)!
With love and shalom,
Rabbi Zach Shapiro
I am a Jew because I have chosen to hear God’s call to Abraham and Sarah.
   I am a Jew because survival of the fittest is wrong, and we are here to build hospitals for the sick, find homes for the poor, provide clothes for the naked, build shelters for the downtrodden, and embrace the future with hope. I am a Jew because I know not to treat others like strangers.
   I am a Jew because I care about Jews in Russia, in South Africa, in India, and in Israel.  And I also care about all humanity – all over the earth – who espouse the ideals I hold dear.
   I am a Jew because Torah is a living document that needs progressive voices to animate her soul.
   I am a Jew because Hebrew, Yiddish, and Ladino are my languages. I am a Jew because of beloved English prayers I can recite from memory.   I am a Jew because when the Cantor Sings Kol Nidre, I cry.
   I am a Jew because where there is hate, I believe in love. I am a Jew, and antisemitism will not make me afraid.

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