I used to be Jewish

When I was Jewish — call me “Jew” and I shrink.
Now I’m a Jew — I do not even blink.

When I was Jew-ish – an irrelevant birth fact.
Now I’m a Jew – an essential soul pact.

When I was Jew-ish – primitive superstition.
Now I’m a Jew – a mystical mission.

When I was Jew-ish – atavistic ethnicity.
Now I’m a Jew – core of identity.

When I was Jew-ish – a fact that I hide.
Now I’m a Jew – one in which I take pride.

When I was Jew-ish – if I could I’d erase it.
Now I’m a Jew – standing tall I embrace it

When I was Jew-ish – Holocaust: proof of our weakness.
Now I’m a Jew – it confirmed our uniqueness.

When I was Jew-ish – loser, ‘slaughtered like cattle’.
Now I’m a Jew – star of spiritual battle.

In short:
When I was Jew-ish – Jew rhymed with Eeeew.
Now I’m a Jew – Jew rhymes with true.

ROSES AREN’T REDDISH.
VIOLETS AREN’T BLUE-ISH.
SO TOO I’M A JEW.
AND NOT ONLY JEW-ISH.

About the Author
Nesanel Yoel Safran, US born and a graduate of Brandeis, now living with his wife and family in the Judean Hills, is a writer, chef, and a teacher/student of Jewish spirituality. He blends these assorted vocations on his blog, Soul Foodie, where you can join him on mystical cooking adventures and glean practical wisdom for the kitchen — and for living.
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