Think Jews are #privileged? You need to read this.

#JewishPrivilege is trending on Twitter, initially driven by anti-Semites spreading the usual conspiracy theories about Jewish control of banks, media, and the like. Jews, including many celebrities, have taken over the hashtag to share tales of Jewish persecution and suffering.

I decided to open up and share this deeply personal account of the challenges I have faced growing up Jewish. I believe it will resonate with many of you around the world, and I apologize in advance if this triggers any painful memories. I hope this inspires you to share your own.

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#JewishPrivilege is not really being able to digest most dairy products (but for some reason cheese sticks are cool).

#JewishPrivilege is thinking you’re good at basketball because you get a lot of rebounds against other Jewish friends, then you play once at a public park and have all your NBA dreams shattered.

#JewishPrivilege is accidentally saying “Gut Shabbes” to someone on a Yom Tov and avoiding them for the next two years.

#JewishPrivilege is rushing in a mad dash to the school Lost and Found bin to gear up because you received an inside tip that there’s gonna be a tzitzis check.

#JewishPrivilege is trying to impress the cute Har Nof chicks by doing Kiddush by heart but losing focus and ending up lost in an endless Rosh Hashanah Kedusha loop and forfeiting any chance at procreation.

#JewishPrivilege is having to eat in the freezing backyard like a hobo then going through a thorough crumb inspection for the entire month between Purim and Pesach because the whole downstairs is already Pesahdik.

#JewishPrivilege is having evangelical Christians quote the Torah at you chapter and verse in an effort to make a real connection between people of faith, and you not knowing anything except your bar mitzvah parshah and the beginning of Chapter 4 of Masechet Brachot cuz you had to memorize it to pass ninth grade Talmud.

#JewishPrivilege is not being able to wear my favorite wool and linen garments.

#JewishPrivilege is God asking you to literally count to 49 over the span of 49 days and not cracking 20 most years.

#JewishPrivilege is doing years of perfect Hagbahs, then screwing it up once and people getting awkwardly quiet when you’re around.

#JewishPrivilege is getting extremely excited about athletes who have a Jewish father but are practicing Christians.

#JewishPrivilege is going to Jewish summer camp and not finding out that there was a Kissing Rock until you were in your 20s.

#JewishPrivilege is not getting any chunks of meat in the chulent at Kiddush because all the old dudes pushed in first and I’m not allowed to physically remove them.

#JewishPrivilege is feeling simultaneously badass and guilty because I ate at a vegan place without a hechsher in Europe. #JewishPrivilege is only getting to drink Coke on Friday night.

#JewishPrivilege is telling the person at the store that you want to try on “Shabbos shoes” and having him stare at you like you’re a talking giraffe.

#JewishPrivilege is having people call you “off-the-derech” because you don’t go to Shabbat minchah.

#JewishPrivilege is being called “out of towner” by stupid NY Jews who can’t imagine that any Jews would live elsewhere unironically.

#JewishPrivilege is getting yelled at by your mother every year for something having to do with putting up the sukkah or taking it down.

#JewishPrivilege is everyone at the lake wondering why you’re washing your new dishes at the dock.

#JewishPrivilege is pushing by the guy guarding the sanctuary door and disturbing the Rabbi’s speech to tell your dad you’ll be eating at a friend’s for lunch, then disturbing the Rabbi’s speech again as you walk back out by the same guy.

#JewishPrivilege is only getting new clothes when there’s a sale at Marshall’s, then getting to school and seeing everyone with the exact same new clearance checkered shirts.

#JewishPrivilege is definitely losing three points on your GPA and not getting into Brown because of %*$^ing Rashi script. That’s an aleph???

#JewishPrivilege is only being allowed to watch an hour of TV a week (baseball of course does not count toward your weekly total).

#JewishPrivilege is having old people you don’t really know come up to you in shul and talk to you about their memories from your circumcision.

#JewishPrivilege is being chazzan for musaf and discovering you have no clue whether it’s an Av Harachamim week or not because there’s absolutely no pattern.

#JewishPrivilege is having your hairdo messed up all day because of tfillin shel rosh.

#JewishPrivilege is having someone tell you that the meeting will be in Iyar and having no clue if that is the dead of winter or right now or what.

#JewishPrivilege is wearing a baseball hat and thinking you’re fooling everybody.

About the Author
Lazar Berman, a former Times of Israel journalist, holds a Masters degree in Security Studies from Georgetown University. He has worked at the American Enterprise Institute, and served as a Chaplain-in-Residence at Georgetown. Lazar's writing has appeared in Commentary, the Journal of Strategic Studies, Mosaic, The American, and other outlets.
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