A Seattle Jew Speaks Out
Senior Citizen [Name withheld to avoid ostracism]
A friend recently told me she was studying comparative religions and the subject matter came around to Judaism. My friend wrote: "Wow, you people are really something to be admired. You must be very proud of your Jewish heritage."
The response to that statement is two-fold because it poses two questions:
What has been done to Seattle Jews from a historical perspective?
What history are Seattle Jews making today?
After reading how the Jewish Mafia operates in Seattle at Council House, an apartment block for senior living, I cannot help contrasting it to my own experience growing up Jewish in Seattle. On the one hand it was being "done to". On the other it has become "doing to", “it” being hate-mongering at its worst.
The answer to my friend then, on the subject of proud, or not, to be Jewish is this: Regarding my Jewish heritage, I don't know what you mean but I am happy you find it fascinating. For the most part for me it has meant mainly prejudice, fear, Nazism, cultism, and patriarchy. It has never served me positively. On the other hand, Jungian psychology/philosophy has been my course and continues to support my psyche's conscious development - my "religion" of sorts.
There has been a renewed interest in Judaism among some of my other non-Jewish friends as well; however, I don't agree that it is anything in particular to admire. History shows that being Jewish is to be feared, profiled, and done away with. Jews have had to fight to survive but that doesn't make them somebody to be admired. Survival is a built-in human feature.
Then of course it is necessary for a discussion to decide if we are talking about a religion (orthodox, conservative, reform, Zionist), a race, or what. I frankly do not relate to any of it. It served me well when Hitler was in power, when my Mt. Baker neighborhood where I grew up was mostly Christian, and anti-Semitic. Consequently, I developed some close Jewish friends outside of my neighborhood, but that was long ago. We ran together for safety.
Thank God I do not have to do that now and can live in relative peace. I will end this piece by saying that my father was against all religions claiming that they were the cause of all wars. I strongly agree. I claim to live a strong spiritual life relying on the source of energy that I find within. That same energy I believe is available for all of creation.