In Which I Offend The Jews (Who Are A Monolithic People And Can’t Have Individual Opinions)

By , May 12, 2011 4:47 pm
[A table is set with shabbat candles. REBECCA lights them while saying the following prayer. It (loosely) translates to ‘Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King of the universe, Who creates _____.” Lighting should be enough to see REBECCA, even when the candles are blown out, but low enough that lighting the candles provides some light to her face]

REBECCA: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha?olam, bo’re p’ri I only remember the prayers which go like this. [REBECCA blows out the candles]

I’m a bad Jew. I don’t keep kosher, I don’t celebrate holidays, I don’t particularly believe in God. But I could be a good Jew and not keep kosher. Not celebrate holidays. Not particularly believe in God.

[REBECCA relights the candles] Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha?olam, bo’re p’ri it bugs me that I can’t get in touch with observent friends on the sabbath because they can’t answer their cellphones. [REBECCA blows out the candles]
I’m a bad Jew because I don’t support Israel.

[REBECCA relights the candles] Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha?olam, bo’re p’ri feeling bad about the Holocaust didn’t give the Western World the right to further divide up the Middle East simply because they didn’t want to deal with Jewish refugees. [REBECCA blows out the candles]

And I understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is incredibly complex. The Jewish historical and religious roots in Israel go back thousands of years.

[REBECCA relights the candles] Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha?olam, bo’re p’ri the original UN plan in 1947 called for Jerusalem to be a UN-run international zone which I think would have been pretty awesome. [REBECCA blows out the candles]
And I understand that Israel now has existed for sixty-plus years, a bit too long to simply say ‘Whoops! We goofed. Can we have this land back, now?’

[REBECCA relights the candles] Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha?olam, bo’re p’ri the Arabs in Palestine rejected the 1948 UN plan which established the State of Israel but why would the international community listen to a bunch of brown people? [REBECCA blows out the candles]

Which isn’t to say the Palestinians are justified in using violence against Israel, particularly against civilians. They’re not. And I don’t pretend to have a good solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But religiously founded states don’t sit right with me, be they Christian, Muslim, or Jewish.

[REBECCA relights the candles] Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha?olam, bo’re p’ri my mom’s boyfriend says the Palestinians are just a media construct and don’t really exist and my mom isn’t sure if such a pro-Israel worldview is a deal-breaker for her. [REBECCA blows out the candles]
But I have more sympathy for the Palestinians than I do the Israelis. Maybe because they’re the underdog. Maybe because of my dislike of organized religion. Maybe because I place more value on who was living there 75 years ago than who was living there 2,000 years ago.

[REBECCA relights the candles] Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha?olam, bo’re p’ri but I’m really uncomfortable with Judaism being equated with supporting Israel, because I’d like to find a way to embrace my Jewish roots without having people assume I’m pro-Israel, and I don’t like how so many Jewish prayers are about how awesome life will be once we get Jerusalem back, because we’ve had it back for sixty years and things haven’t been going so well have they, so why don’t all the Jews just take a deep breath and calm the fuck down. [REBECCA blows out the candles]

CURTAIN

9 Responses to “In Which I Offend The Jews (Who Are A Monolithic People And Can’t Have Individual Opinions)”

  1. Natasha says:

    As a Jew (of the Humanistic variety) I am horribly offended. Terribly so. That you would think Jews would be offended by this. There are a whole lot of us who really don’t care all that much for the affairs is the Israelis and who severely dislike it when some Jewish person tells us we cannot be real Jews unless we trek off to the eastern Med or we must support the Israelis. Now I don’t support the Palestinians either. I think they’re all assholes. I still don’t understand why the original Israeli settlers didn’t opt for a nice island somewhere in the Pacific where they didn’t share borders with people who hated them. After all, most of them had come from a place where people hated them. Never made any sense to me. But people are psychotic for relics, so…

    Oh, I’m not really offended.

    xoxo

  2. RadDyke says:

    I LOVE this piece. Too much for words.

  3. Shalom Bond says:

    Cool. I don’t think being Jewish or a “good Jew” (a concept I fucking HATE) has anything to do with being a Zionist.

    Question though… Why are you saying borei pri hagafen when lighting Shabbat candles?

    • Rebecca says:

      Because I don’t remember the proper prayers and used the first one I did remember from Wikipedia. ;)

      What prayer should I have been mangling?

      • violet says:

        “baruch atah adonai elohenu melech haolam asher kidishanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu lahadlik neir shel shabbat”

        (the one you _are_ mangling is “who brings forth the fruit of…”)

        (That is the only part of your piece that offended me)

    • Rebecca says:

      (Tho part of me wants to make a BS justification about how it’s a meta example of my bad Jew-ness…)

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