Being offered to take part in Diversity tour Hungary in Budapest I realised immediately this will be a right event for me to attend. It took place in a venue which is well recognized with the left wing liberal guild of the Jewish community, the one that carries upon its flag to support any group that feels itself deprived regarding its expression in the conventional crowd of the majority. The seminar was lead by the two guides – a French woman and an Italian girl. Except me, and an Israeli anthropologist giving lectures at the University , all participants were Hungarian.
In the city very liberal in advocating pluralism where I come from, Tel Aviv, I used to be quite active in the queer scene. This community’s voice is known to be loudly heard among the locals. Over here, in Budapest, this part of the population didn’t come to my mind that often, since in the scope of my duties towards the Jewish youth whom I work with, I mainly stressed their hunger for the general quest for their own Jewish identity.
It came to me as a surprise that Judaism seems contradic gay`s lifestyle, when coming to combine the two: being a gay and also being a Jewish, and as a simple woman I was not aware of these challenges they offer to our society.
Most of the gay people I knew were fighting their way out their sexual closet without need to handle what it means to them to be gay in a Jewish environment, naturally, because in Israel this Jewish environment is given, and secularity was the conventional way.
The question of how we should be involved when it comes to perserving identities that are not directly related to the group we assign ourselves with is a basic human question waiting to be asked whenever the civil rights’ topic is being discussed.
Do we interfere with women being exported to slavery work around Europe because they are women, even if they are not from our country? Do we join the protest of Roman’s in the state where we live, even though they are of a different ethnic group? Do we deal with legalization process of expanding rules to the benefit of people with other sexual orientation then us?
It is very hard to find a motivation to liberate ourselves – first, outside the little bubble of our community’s need first. We trust those weak groups to struggle for their demands, because what the hell do we know about being a woman on trafficking, a Roman being assaulted or a homosexual wanting to marry his/her love. We don’t. As non-Jews don’t know how a Jew does want to live his life in the Diaspora. But it is necessary for us to know, to listen and to spread out. Being active by becoming aware, you might learn something about yourself, about your place in the world. It is your responsibility.
For further interest on this topic you might as well search for the 2nd season of ‘Srugim’- a TV series produced in Jerusalem dealing with a young gay religious guy.
For further info about the seminar and to its blog: