I Am A Jew

On the politics of being a Jew, I will never vote with my head, only my heart, for it is my heart that bears the weight of two thousand years of exile, all the pain it has had to sustain under the harshest of circumstances.

Sometimes my head screams for politics. Of socialisation or privatisation, of just so many justifications of why I should vote based on the here and now. But my heart knows better.

It knows I am part of a people that has been rejected and affected by every pogrom, inquisition and hate fueled resistance since the beginning of time.

So I vote as a Jew. My other interests are always secondary to my first because I wear it on my sleeve, a star on my chest, branded to me the constant reminder of those who came before me. Those that lost their lives or fought to survive to pass on and be the link in the chain that has lived through more than anyone ever thought possible.

On the politics of being a Jew all I have to say is that if you do not think there is a Gd that runs this world, then you are mistaken because there is no other logical explanation for how a nation so small could make ripples so big and land themselves in a position where they are pushed from land to land, at home in the feeling of homelessness until they are taken from the palm of G-D’s hand to a land that is rightfully their own.

On the politics of being a Jew, I politely remind you that the rest of the world was happy to stand by and avert their gaze as lives were burnt, destroyed, slaughtered and enslaved. And so when I say I vote first as a Jew and then as everything else, I mean that I vote as a Jew because there is not another soul in this word that will do it for me. We are alone and yet together. Few have not heard of us, yet so many have never met us but hate us anyway.

So few in history have been blamed for the demise, the disintergration of economic configurations like we have. I am not your banker or your baker, your butcher or your candle stick maker. I am not in the media or in the government. I am at home. Or in school. Writing papers and walking the streets just like you.

My blood is the same colour as yours and it runs through my veins and into the streets, not like yours ever will because you aren’t part of the people who claim the biggest phenomena in the history of the world: the baseless hatred of Jews.

So on the politics of voting as a Jew, I remind you that I vote as a Jew because I live as a Jew and I will die as a Jew. Because I have to think about what it means to die as a Jew, but most of you only have to think about what it means to live as you. While kids go to school and ride bikes and play, I run into my secure building passed armed guards every day of my life and wonder what could be so innately bad about blood that is the same as yours that it makes men with guns and people with violent convictions take to the streets to evict us from our lives.

I will always live as a Jew. I will die as a Jew. And I will vote as a Jew because we are a nation alone held in contempt for sins we did not commit. Sentenced without a trial, punished without a jury, we bear, the weight of a judgment so harsh that we do not just lose one or two, we have bore the weight of losses so big that a third of our nation was wiped out in one go. Forced to recover before repeating it again, condemned to be a nation that absorbs loss and bounces back because what choice do we have.

So on the politics of being a Jew, I remind you that while others may fare better hiding their stars and various other scars, I wear mine on my sleeve as a reminder that I will be who I will be and I will be that for me, because if not for myself, who will be for me is a question I hear together with the noise of gun shots still ringing in my ears.

So I brandish my faith like a flag and wear it when all else fails as a reminder that burn us, shoot us, kill us you might, but somehow, however hard you try, the reason I have to vote like a Jew is because this Jewish nation will never die.

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