“I’m Done with Blending”

“I’m Done with Blending”

Friday night we hosted a solidarity mission from one of New Jersey’s largest and wealthiest Jewish communities. A board member of several Jewish organizations, including his own Reform Temple, spoke with great emotion about their intense week-long trip spent meeting with parents of hostages, seeing the devastating wreckage of Kfar Aza, and hearing from parents and spouses of those murdered on October 7th who honored this group by sharing their painful stories with them for the first time.

At one point, this dignified man broke down crying for an entire minute. His weeping didn’t seem to be prompted by anything specific, but rather by the sum-total of the horror that, for him, 5 months after the events of October 7th, had finally sunk in.
And then he continued, “We attend a large Temple and over the years our rabbi and our congregation have stood up for many progressive causes and minority groups. We donated. We demonstrated alongside them. But since October 7th, our Rabbi hasn’t received a single call to express sympathy or support now that we Jews find ourselves the targets of hatred and violence.”
Then his wife added: “Before this war, I blended. If someone asked me if I was Jewish, I wouldn’t lie, but I also wouldn’t do anything to display my Jewishness. I preferred to just blend in.
“But the events of the past 5 months have lit something up inside of me. Today, in my hospital office, I keep an Israeli flag behind my desk. If a Muslim comes into my office, that flag stays up. I’m done with blending. This is who I am.”


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