Alright, so I’m blogging instead of doing homework, but I think this is productive too. It seems like it is well into the second tourist season of the year here in Jerusalem. I am longing for the quiet days, but thrilled to see so many people taking over Ben Yehuda, the stores, the eateries, the cabs! I hear English all over the place, stores have great sales, and you never know who you know that will pop up around the next corner. But, I was walking home tonight, thinkinga buot Birthright, and the land of Israel. It seems that a hot topic of discussion lately is Judaism in Israel. Many of the speakers who have come to my school to talk with us about Israel and religion within the state have emphasized the fact that Israel is a Jewish state. that Jews can live freely here, more freely than they can anywhere else in the world. They talk about how the shabbat environment here is unbeatable, kosher food is all around, etc. But, I’m still wondering if this is really true. And, what is my birthright. Is by birthright to the land of Israel? is it to religious freedom in that land? Is it the tradition and law I live my life by?
I dont want to talk about politics, the land, etc. I want to talk about my “birthright” and the State of Israel. I want to talk about the contradictions in the “Jewish State.” It seems more and more that although the state is Jewish, it is a place where only certain types of Jews are welcome. Where, the speakers, former supreme court justice’s, politicians, rabbis, come and talk to us about how Israel welcomes all Jews, but in reality, my Judaism isn’t recognized here. I have actually found that it is easier to be the Jew that I am, to be Jewish and live my Jewish life outside of Israel. Kosher food all the time is nice, but when I am ostracized for showing my hair, or told what i believe in isn’t Judaism, told I can’t perform a marriage here, or someone who converts into my movement will not be considered a Jew; I am sad, upset, and angry. Israel may be a Jewish state, but lately, i’ve found that it is a long way from being a Jewish State who accepts every Jew for who they are, for their Birthright.

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