Sunday, June 9, 2013

The State of Black Jewish Affairs

I want to note that when I say Black Jewish, I mean the orthodox definition of Jewish: Mother is Jewish or person had an orthodox conversion.

Baruch Hashem many are coming out of the woodwork --at least in my eyes- and its great! However, many are self concious, which is not strange, very sensitive and want to be accepted -especially those from America.

That is fine.

The problem comes when we are so willing to cover ourselves with reform, conservative, seculars, Christian, Muslim, anything black to cover our true selves in the hopes that numbers, quantity, trumps quality / values.  As a result, in order to not be a hypocrite to our comforters, we end up rejecting the very teachings of orthodoxy, and accept all sorts of people as Jews, accept all sorts of position (gay is okay, reform conversion is okay, etc) so that at least, we will have their acceptance, and together with them complain and slander our own.

Hmmmmm... what's wrong with this picture?

We need to recognize that there are things we don't like in the social scene in the Jewish world, but slandering our own Orthodox Jews to "outsiders" is not going to help. Nor does it help these friends.  They may be having their own issues in their own communities, but the motives may be totally different from what motivates our problems.  It will also make us look ridiculous for being still in that group. And that will create a cycle which will slowly, but surely, eventually pluck us out of that orthodox world.

If there is a problem, a possible solution is to voice our complaint where it can make a difference, and we should do it in a way that our complaints will be heard. While there is a place for venting frustration, we should be cautious that it doesn't turn into a breach of communal security -sending a bad scent of all the community's misdeeds to shamayim.

Who's got our back?

That is the big question! That is the whole reason we are turning to what we knew from before or what we think is the stronger, friendlier group who will comfort us.  Where is our bitachon? Where is our emuna? Where is our trust that our community has our back?  Where is our faith that Hashem will protect us and defend us?

Trust! Hashem protects the converts.   Trust! Those who were born Jewish, the Torah is our strength. Fortify yourself by immersing in Torah, in mitzvot, in getting your questions answered, in becoming the best you that you can possibly be, and the people that you "need" will come into your life either as "friends"  as "neighbors" as "family members" and however else Hashem works it.

There are many Black Jews who came in via conversion --and not from the same beit din.  Which means, there are at least three rabbis who feel and think it is good and right for black Jews to be Jewish, times that by however many black Jewish converts you can think up.

The good guys are out there.

p.s.  This is not to say that reform, conservatives, seculars, gays, Christians, Muslims, etc etc should be treated badly, G-d forbid!! They are humans and belong in the big pool of the human race. But it is to say that if your values are being stepped on, its not beneficial to go to a place who don't hold your same values, to get comfort and strength to fight harder for your values. You may meet eye to eye on that one point, but that is not enough.

No comments: