The Daily Jews

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9 Responses

  1. Neil Harris says:

    This essay is brilliant and a must read for every thinking Torah observant Jew.

  2. Shades of Gray says:

    “The countless individuals who make up that population will never appear in the media world. Their due will come in another one…The mass of “daily Jews” – and, despite the headlines and headhunters, it is a critical mass – may not even realize the effect they have on the image of the Jewish people.”

    I’d like to provide an example of this.

    About a year ago, I was in a taxi cab driven by an immigrant Muslim driver. We started talking, and he wanted to know whether I was religious, since I didn’t have side curls like the Jews he sees in Boro Park. I have heard this question from other non-Jews as well, and proceeded to explain to him, al regel achas, Jewish sociology.

    This driver then told me that he lives in an apartment building in Boro Park. There was a Chasidic woman in the building who was “always nice to him”, by this I assume he meant, appropriately friendly and menschlich.

    It was heartwarming to hear this, because apparently, his overall image of the Chasidic community is a good one because of the people he interacts with. If this is correct, then his neighbor, who probably is acting by second nature and has no idea of the effect of her actions, accomplished something significant.

  3. Tal Benschar says:

    I too have had such experiences. I was once in a doctor’s waiting room. An older woman, who was waiting with her husband to see a doctor, approaced me and said, “I see you are a religious Jew. My husband used to work for religious Jews. They treated him so well, with so much respect. It was such a pleasure for him to work for them.”

  4. Michoel says:

    This is gevaldig but part of me now feels even sadder about all the terrible chillul Hashem. As in “we can be so great, so why are we being so lousy”.

  5. Phil says:

    It was my first job interview wearing a yarmulke. The non-Jewish manager asked me the question I was fearing: “Where would you like to go for lunch?” — Since there were no kosher restaurants around for several miles, I hesitated. He spotted my hesitation and asked, “oh, you eat kosher food, right?” He then told me that his wife used to babysit for a religious Jewish family in Albany, New York, and that they were really nice. He also pointed out that the father of family had a club foot, yet would walk over two miles to synagogue each Sabbath. — I’m awfully curious if anyone at CrossCurrents knows who he is. I’d like to thank him for unknowingly helping me land that job!

  6. Esther says:

    Beautiful article. Thank you. I have many more examples. I just wish I had the time to write about them.

  7. Jewish Observer says:

    Our collective self estteem must have really sunk low to have to convince ourselves that yiden are good and extraordinary people. That is certainly true and beside the point. The point is that we are also well represented on the other side of the spectrum with flying colors. The danger of boosting our self worth by focusing on the one side is that we can fool ourselves into thinking we have less work to do on the other.

  8. another Nathan says:

    Every Jew who wears a kippa, or is otherwise visibly Jewish, is a personal ambassador for Hashem, and must be mindful at all times of Whom he is representing.

  9. Jewish Observer says:

    “Every Jew who wears a kippa, or is otherwise visibly Jewish, is a personal ambassador for Hashem”

    – the fact that we need all this “ambassador” stuff to make a case for being a mentsch is a siman of how deep the problem is. You only need a gevaldeger terutz when you have am shtarke kasha. Do we need such argumnts to bolster us buying the expensive tefillin?

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