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Reflections on the Terror and the Joy of Being Jewish

April 15, 2014

It’s Passover (“Pesach”) and this  week for me has been a time in which I have been reminded of terror.

This week, I went with my wife and good friends to see Barry Manilow’s new musical, “Harmony,” about pre-WWII Germany:  Terror.

I shook in my seat at the thought of being rounded up because I am Jewish.

I read this week about the murders in Kansas City at the Jewish Community Center there:  Terror.

I cringed at the possibility that I, or anyone I know, could be singled out in a random shooting … because I am Jewish.

I went to a Seder last night to recall the Exodus.

I recalled the story of terrible slavery and, thankfully, I was relieved by the redemption from slavery.

The confluence of terror this week struck me as more than coincidence.

All of it has to do with Anti-Semitism, which is beyond terrible.

The saving factors in all of this week’s experiences were: the opportunity to think about how things really are; the ability to congregate with a Jewish community to celebrate a ritual beyond time; and the chance to write without restriction about the experience of being Jewish.

I have never understood why we have been chosen to endure and to withstand hatred.

I do not understand it now.

Yet I rejoice in the freedoms we have in our country to meet as Jews, to practice our religious rituals as Jews, and freely to enjoy our Jewish culture and heritage.

But I do not understand the hate that has continued over the ages.

What have we learned since our redemption from slavery in Egypt?

We have learned that we must still be vigilant.

We must look around, over our shoulders, and behind us.

And we must wonder, even in this modern age, if we are still or possibly in danger.

What’s wrong with this picture?


But still we are the Chosen People.

And I still rejoice in my Jewishness and I celebrate its every nuance.

Thankfully, I’m in a place, I believe, where I am not in danger because of it.

And I’m in a place where I can write about it.

But one never knows for sure.


David I. Karp is a full time mediator of real estate and business disputes who writes what he thinks and not always about mediation. His website is at


From → Bubbe Meises

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