A long time ago I learned that there are people in this world who think that I am responsible for every Jew and accountable for all of Israel’s actions. In simple terms it means that there are people who ask me questions about Judaism and Israel in terms that make it clear that it is not really my opinion they want.
Here are a couple of the winners.
“Jack, why do you Jews refuse to accept your savior.”
“Jack, your country kills civilians every day. What do you intend to do about it.”
You’ll notice that I didn’t include a question mark. It is intentional. They aren’t really questions that are being posed to me. They are statements. To be fair I don’t think that all of the people that engaged me were ignorant, anti-semitic or had some sort of nefarious agenda in mind.
Some had never met a Jew before and were truly curious. I wouldn’t say that they were beacons of eloquence or civility, but that is ok. At the same time I have to say that I am sure that some of the people that asked were not big fans of Jews or Israel. I didn’t spend enough time interrogating them to determine if they crossed the line in a fashion that allows me to tar and feather them, so I won’t go there.
In any case these questions have been asked frequently enough that I have decided that there is something to the argument that every Jew needs to be conscious of how their actions affect the rest. I don’t like it.
I don’t think that it is logical or sensible. We are like everyone else, there are good Jews and bad Jews. But the problem remains, there are going to be those who judge us based upon what they see from other Jews.
The Jewish angle is one thing, but the Israeli really blows me away. Lord knows that I love Israel and am a hardcore Zionist, but I am an American citizen. I cannot help but shake my head when people make these ridiculous comments to me, as if I have any real ability to set policy or make decisions for Israel.
Just this past Summer I was asked by someone at my gym about what Israel was doing in Lebanon. I told him that when I called my uncle Ehud I suggested that we send more troops in. For a moment the man looked at me with bug eyes.
WTF, did he really think that I was serious. Sure, it is like the batphone that runs between the batcave and Commissioner Gordon’s office. All I do is pick up the phone and I can orchestrate all sorts of events, from 10,000 miles away.
It is times like this when I wish to give them a good boot the head.
One of these days I am going to have to construct a real essay on this topic, but I think that I’ll wait on that one.