Thursday, March 09, 2006 I was asked the following question:
Hello Rabbi, thank you for making yourself available. When Christians put on
their religious cross, they don't look over their shoulders. Jews outside
protected areas, are often too paranoid to openly wear the Star. I travel in
non-Jewish communities and I find in general a fear to wear any religious
Outside Israel, Jews are looked upon as scared to defend themselves. How do we
change this World Image of us?
Thank you Peter, the wandering Jew.
was my response:
You are generalizing when you say (all) Jews are paranoid about openly
displaying their Jewishness and afraid to defend themselves.
In the rare instance where a Jew has to be in an area of a particular city or
town that is known for its anti-Semitic sentiment, he or she will probably be
cautious about a public display. Men may remove their yarmulkes and replace them
with a hat or a cap and women might put their Star of David charm inside their
sweater or blouse. These areas are becoming more and more rare. they are no
longer the threat that they once were and, therefore, anyone who would
deliberately hide their identity is doing so out of a conditioned fear.
I happen to live in a part of the county that is not particularly Jewish...we
are very few, actually, and drive to the closest town that has a shul. However,
many people know that I am a rabbi and a therapist and come to me BECAUSE I am a
As a direct response to your query of how to change that "world" image, I will
say that it has to be one person at a time and we have to begin with ourselves.
you have questions about a personal matter, or jewish practices
and customs, you can submit them to me by e-mail.
I answer all queries directly, or through this column, when the
question is informative to our community.
you for your kind attention and this opportunity to share with
Rabbi Dan S. Wiko
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