The History Of Judaism
If you think back to my previous post, I talked about Birthright. This trip is funded by highly religious Jews that believe taking Jewish kids to Israel will spark a similar passion in the students to become active in the community once they return.
I wanted to understand what it was about Israel, Jews and the history of Judaism and its people that creates such passion among those intensely involved. I quickly realized that I would have to understand the history of the Jewish people in order comprehend this common dedication.
Upon doing some research on Judaism I found this video that outlines the tragic, oppressed, yet, in the end, beautiful history of the Jews.
The Jews felt a significant oppression in their lives. From their enslavement in Egypt in the Ancient times to the fairly recent times during World War II and the concentration camps, Jews survived countless odds. There is certainly thus a sense of pride among Jews for making it through so many struggles and still prevailing as an existing religion and a people.
Understanding the history of Judaism and its people helped me to not only understand its oppression better but relate it to my own experience. Similar to the rejection and lack of value that Jews experienced in their previous years, during my time in middle and high school I never felt like I belonged with the Jewish community. This was in part due to the fact that only my mother is Jewish and my father is catholic.
Once I found these Jewish communities, I felt welcomed. This sense of overwhelming happiness for finally being accepted into this Jewish community sparked a great passion for these incredible people. I now truly understand why these men have donated so much money to bring Jews to Israel: to maintain this beloved community that beyond all odds has not continued to exist.
This following week I hope to meet with a Jewish group trying to plan the largest shabbat in Minneapolis. Stay tuned.