Monday, July 21, 2008

The Gehakte Leber Test

Anyone who knows about me and my work knows I'm fascinated by how people accommodate multiple identities, especially when cultural identity has become tied to religious identity. Many assimilated American Jews, for example, tend to consider their Judaism a cultural identity having nothing to do with religious observance.

For the past couple of days I've been fixated on this quote from a recent Christian Science Monitor article, "More Blacks Explore Judaism." This from a black woman who had been raised as a Baptist in the South:
"It's odd to see black people convert to Judaism, and even Jewish people look at me strangely, I'm not going to lie," says Ms. Chaim "But once everybody sees that I can recite the prayers in Hebrew, their attitudes change."
Hey, I may in full communion with the Roman Catholic church but I still have the chutzpah to shrug and say, "Prayers in Hebrew? Big deal. What happens when they try her chopped liver?"

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