Saturday, December 17, 2005

Yesterday, I wrote about Jews getting their noses out of joint for no good reason. Then comes today's Washington Post, where I got to read a number of letters to the editor complaining about an article the Post ran last week on some Bar Mitzvahs (rite of passage for 13 old Jewish boys and girls) in New York that were a tad over-the-top...

The letter writers (all likely Jewish, judging by their names) all took offense at the Post article and/or those having the Bar Mitzvahs. One complained that "such articles do nothing to break down stereotypes of Jews'. Another wrote "I was ashamed to be Jewish". And a third couldn't understand why the Post chose to write such an article in the first place and insisted on writing about how her granddaughter did such good things for her Bat Mitzvah.

People, you are being silly. If anything, it is you who are furthering the stereotype of Jews as being overly sensitive to anything that could, no matter how ridiculously, be taken as criticism and blowing it into anti-Semitism.

So what that some parent with a whole lot of money decided to spend an awful lot of it on their kids? It's their money, they earned it, and that gives them the right to decide on how to spend it. How dare you impose your values about what is and what isn't the 'right' amount to spend on a celebration on others?

And what's with being embarrassed about being Jewish? Why in the world would the actions of some other people make you embarrased about what you are? I don't get embarrassed for being conservative when a conservative does something I don't like. I don't get embarrassed when someone tall does something that I don't agree with. Being Jewish isn't like being members of a club. It's something you are and there are going to be people who are Jewish who do things you agree with and there are going to be people who are Jewish who do things you don't like. Being embarrassed because some people spend $100,000 on a party is as ridiculous as being proud to be a Jew if somebody Jewish does something good.... which, no doubt, is something you do.

And why do you feel the need to counter (what you think of as) negative stories of Jews with (what you think of as) positive stories about Jews. Are you really keeping score? Do you feel so threatened that you have to claim to the Post's audience that not all Jews are like that in the story? Yeah, it's great that you're proud of your granddaughter. I hope to be proud of my grandkids (gee, that's a thought - me as a grandfather). But it's ridiculous to use them (yes, use them) to make yourself feel better about being Jewish. If you're proud of being Jewish, you're proud of being Jewish and nobody can make you feel otherwise. And, if you aren't proud of being Jewish, well, the Scientologists are always looking for new donors, I mean, members.

And where did you get the idea that the Post has an obligation to portray Jews in a good light, to try to breakdown stereotypes? That's not their job. Their reporter saw something that was interesting to him and wrote about it... as reporters are supposed to do. Get over your over sensitivity and stop reading the paper thinking "one story about a good Jew, one story about a bad Jew, one story about a good Jew, and so on.

And please don't throw me the garbage line about the Holocaust and how you're on the front lines to make sure nothing like that ever happens again. First, you're not on the front lines. You're the better part of 5,000 miles away from the front lines; the front lines are manned by the members of the Israeli military who are actually doing the fighting against those who would rid the world of Jews. Second, despite what your allies in the Democratic party (a fair assumption, in my mind, as polls indicate 90% of Jews in America vote liberal) suggest, this country is not heading down the road to another Inquisition. The fact is that Jews have never had it as good as they have it in America. Nobody is stopping you on the streets and beating you because you're Jewish. No one is passing laws to take away your property. Nobody is buring temples (at least not without having the police all over them). Stop acting like they're readying the boats to ship you out of the country. Stop being so whiny. Stop acting like a bunch of ___________.