Monday, August 02, 2010

I am Jewish

Guest Post by Hillary Rubin

Last Friday I wrote a post expressing outrage at the way a fellow Jew was treated by the Israeli Rabbanut when she applied for marriage. They told her that unless she came up with impossible documentation she would not be considered Jewish nor would she be considered eligible for marriage in Israel.

Many people have responded trying to defend the Rabbanut’s behavior. I now present Ms Rubin’s response. It was originally posted in the comments section of that thread but deserves wider exposure. I therefore present it here unedited in its entirety as a guest post.

Hi, I am the young woman in question. I am trying to clear the air about a few things. I will keep posting this until people start listening.

1) I am a Jew. My maternal grandmother was in Auschwitz and did not convert to Judaism OR from Judaism. No such thing has happened in my family. She came from a religious family - as did my maternal grandfather (not that anyone cares).

2) I am the great-great-niece of Nachum Sokolow, not his great-granddaughter. He was my paternal grandfather's uncle. This doesn't matter in my lineage but the paper thought it would gain more attention - which it clearly has.

3) I love being Jewish. I may be an observant Conservative Jew but it's the only religion I've ever known. Until now, I never knew Judaism or Jews in general to be so harsh and unwelcoming.

4) I'm not anti-religious or anti-Charadi. I have quite a few family members who are religious and Charadi and I do not hate them or despise them. They are my family and fellow Jews. Hashem taught us to love one another - not be spiteful and full of hate.

5) I love the State of Israel - with all my heart. I do not like the practices of the Rabbanut but I appreciate their role in keeping the land of Israel Jewish.

6) The way I was treated in the Rabbanut is above and beyond disgraceful and disgusting... and it wasn't just me - my fiance (who was raised Orthodox) was also told to go to the Beit Din because they weren't sure he was Jewish either.

Finally, at the end of the day - most things are about politics and power. We were caught in the middle. This was just our story. Follow one of my blogs and you can follow the rest of the story.