Things My Grandmother Taught Me

As a child, my favorite thing was to spend time at my grandmother’s house in Sderot.

It wasn’t only because she cooked the most delicious food I’ve ever eaten.

It wasn’t only because she gave me so much love.

It was because I admired her open-mindedness about people and the world in general.

If there was anyone who knew what it was like to suffer for being Jewish; it’s my grandmother. 

Despite her having to escape a concentration camp in Ukraine and then living in an orphanage that physically and mentally abused her because of her Jewish identity; she never once mentioned anything bad about anyone who wasn’t Jewish.

In fact, being Jewish was never a priority for her. 

Even though she keeps all of the Holidays and only eats strictly Kosher food, she never tried to force me to follow Jewish traditions. 

She would always tell me that the most important thing about a person is not their identity, but what’s in their hearts. 

She would say, “Yes Anat, you’re Jewish, but the main thing is to take care of your health, to take care of others, to be a good person.” 

Her sensitivity, her non-discriminatory nature, and her ability to see love in every individual, regardless of their religion or race, is something that I hope to continue to take with me for the rest of my life.

As Shimon Peres once said, “We are not the Chosen People, we are people who make choices.”

About the Author
Anat Ghelber was born in Israel and moved to Texas when she was 13. She experienced anti-Semitism in public schools there. She moved to New York City when she was 20, and is currently studying for a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work. She started submitting articles to the Jewish Voice two years ago. In her free time enjoys writing poems. She's also a certified Yoga teacher with 200 hours of training who teaches in a donation-based studio called Yoga to the People in New York City.
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