Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Different, Yet the Same

The great thing about today is that it happened three weeks ago.

Allow me to explain.

Regular readers of this blog will know that I tend to hit massive writer’s block day-of-post and stress about it endlessly until the pressure itself ends up serving as the source material. At that point, it all comes together on its own. Be it a conversation or a song (Devin Townsend is serving as my muse at the current moment. Song: Life), something sparks inspiration in me sometime during classic “Tzvi’s last-minute panic” and the whole thing pretty much writes itself.

Contrary to those other times, the inspiration for this one came to me about three weeks early, and, save for a few edits and last minute thoughts, this post was finished back in January. Don’t you love when that happens? Now if only I could finagle that for my schoolwork…

Anyways, the point of all this is that I’m pretty excited that I got this worked out early, so without further ado, this week’s spark:

(Yes, you should watch it before you continue reading; it’s the source material for this post, duh)

This video was sent to me by a close friend of mine, not because of its important message but because she and I know the guy with the black beard and newsboy cap at the 23 second mark. However, as soon as I saw it, I knew one of the four of us had to write something about it. A day later, Daniel touched on it in his post, but I still felt the need to say something because this is an idea I’m very much connected to. In addition, if you have ever read our “About Page” you would recognize the video as relevant to the main gripe we at Arbitribe have with the Jewish community in our beloved New York and many Jewish communities around the globe: the “us and them” mentality that has pervaded the Jewish world.

Honestly, I’m not sure what about the video speaks more clearly on this issue. Is it the fact that the faces of 23 Jews spanning across the entire gamut of our religion are displayed within 42 seconds of each other? Maybe it’s it the fact that they all seem happy to be there?

Is it the song, which preaches love in good times and bad, through thick and thin, reminiscent of wedding vows?

Or is it that final, possibly horrifying statistic, and its accompanying visual? 14 million Jews out of a world population of 6.6 billion, surrounded by anti-Semitism on all sides, and yet we can’t find peace and acceptance within our own tribe. Too often is a perfectly wonderful person turned away at the door for having too colorful a kippah, or some similar nonsense; a person judged by their garb, disliked because he/she is different.

In the end, what it comes down to is this simple fact that I mentioned in my first post: a Jew is a Jew is a Jew. Chasid, “hippie,” irreligious, Modern Orthodox, or whatever, it makes no difference. We must love other Jews for who they are, not for what they do or how they do it. We are less than 0.3% of the world’s population, a small family. Despite our differences, let's learn to love and respect each other.

Song of the Day: Blackened - Metallica

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