Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Something To Be Proud Of

So here I am, sitting awake at 1:00 AM on a random Monday night for no good reason whatsoever, and I got to thinking, “Hey, I’ve been a member of this blog for about a week now, maybe I should, ya know, actually blog!”

Thing is, I’ve never actually blogged before. Sure, I do enjoy writing as a pastime and certainly have used it before as a method of catharsis, but to that end I generally write lyrics as opposed to prose. Thing about lyrics is that for them to accomplish their goal, the only person they have to make sense to is me. Judging by the state of music today, that seems to be the sentiment of composers all across the board, but I digress; there will be plenty of time for me to rant about pop-culture and America’s Top 40 later. Point is, this is something I’m new at. I tend to think and speak in these terms but I’ve never actually put pen to paper, or in this case, fingers to keyboard.

So the real question is, for my very first blog, how do I even start? Where do I begin? What do I write about? And in the end what comes to mind is not an actual subject per se, but more the emotions that are, in small doses, associated with those questions: anxiety, uncertainty, and fear.

On a certain level, I worry if what I write will make sense…If I’ll be happy with it...If my fellow bloggers, who so graciously invited me to write for the Red Sea Pedestrian, would think after this post that that decision was a mistake…If our readers would tune in to what I’m trying to get across…If I’ll make a fool out of myself…

And then I stop being an idiot.

Seriously people, is this what it’s come to? I’m worrying about what I post on a blog that is, in essence, 1/4th mine? REALLY? The sad part is that we, as Jews, are conditioned to think this way. We question everything we do and whether it will or will not be acceptable in the eyes of the masses. We fear stepping out of line, not in matters of law, but of social perception. Putting it simply, we’re always so worried about what other people think that we lose touch with how we feel about ourselves.

Although I am a Jew who for a long time has struggled with his religious practice, I can say one thing: I am proud to be Jewish. Fact.

Maybe it’s an inborn healthy sense of self respect.

Maybe it’s the way I was brought up.

Maybe it’s the Whacky Mac I had for lunch on Thursday.

Honestly speculating about the reason why is pointless but I know this: I have never shied away from who or what I am. I may not fit the mold at all times but I am proud of that, because that’s me. My high school yearbook quote was, “If I was like everyone else, I’d be everyone but myself.”

So I walk through the campus of my community college, where I am one of the 4 Jews I know of that are enrolled there, with my kippah on my head, my Gush Katif and Sderot bracelets around my wrist, and my Magen David necklace hanging on my neck, because those things are part of what makes me me, and I’d rather be me than anyone else. And you know what? I’m respected by my non-Jewish peers for holding fast to what I believe in.

So to my fellow bloggers I ask this: why do we even care if it’s “okay” to be Jewish here? Being Jewish, regardless of level of practice, is part of what makes us who we are. A Jew is a Jew is a Jew.

I think that’s something to be proud of.

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