MENA Is Mean And Other Matters (Randyjw; July 18, 2018)
Jewish people, as a group, have still not been entitled to the same protections as all other citizens in the United States, due to the fact that discriminatory measures have been enacted to prevent, at the outset, their classification as a minority group.
Jews have, themselves, considered their ancestry as a specific lineage dating back from the time of Adam and Eve, through Terach, and his son, Abraham, and through him to Isaac, and so on, until the present day. Jacob begat the Twelve Tribes of Israel/Jacob, of which the Jewish people descend. The English transliteration of the tribal son named Yehuda, became “Judah” in the English language, from which the English word “Jewish” derives. The name in Hebrew (“Ivrit”) is termed “Yehudi”.
Jewish ancestry has been somewhat strict in its applicable requirements throughout the millennia, where it was considered a case for shame if a child was born out of wedlock, or if a parent married outside of the “faith”. While children had been known as the son or daughter of their father’s household, as in the ‘ben” or “bar” designations (i.e., Yitzhak ben Avraham ben Terach), it could be known specifically from which womb of a woman came the child, and so Jewish designation and heritage could be confirmed through the mother, if the mother was indeed Jewish.
There are plenty of instances where this does not occur, as can be seen quite plainly in the written pages of the Old Testament, but it is said that in these cases, the mother had converted to Judaism, accepting all facets of a Jewish existence, and was heartily welcomed without differentiation within the Jewish community, as such. For instance, the mother of the eventual Jewish King, David, Ruth, was from Moab, yet had expressed her desire to worship the One G-d of her mother-in-law, Naomi, and to stay among and live among the Jewish people as one.
Conversion rituals, and where it can be ascertained the true intent of an individual to join the Jewish people in a true-hearted manner, are allowed for the outsider to become an integrated part of the community without further distinction or separation or differentiation. Doing so entails a strict adherence to Jewish practice and ritual, since these were previously likely not a part of the convertee’s experiences. The person born into Judaism through their ancestral line may not even be particularly religious, but they are considered Jewish by birth: of ancestry, culture, lineage, etc. Such is the case, also, of the Arab Muslim child, though it is through the father that the religion/ancestry/culture is inherited, although the Arab ancestry is likely way more diverse, and may be comprised of disparate groups of people who united under an ethnic umbrella at one point in the march of historic time. It is a difficult issue when a Jewish mother and an Arab Muslim father bear a child, and then wish to divorce, as both hold equal claims to the child and the religion that the child will become, although the Arab countries have never regarded this equality as such and will always side with the male father of the Arab culture.
Many Jews today find it contentious to consider that we are a separate people, due to the horror of having known that this separateness is what has propelled, not only Hitler, but a whole host of humanity since time immemorial, to go against us. To make something holy, it is the act of separating it, to keep it in purity and untouched by the profane, that which makes it unfit, or unclean, to serve as a vessel (animate, or inanimately) to be used to worship or honor G-d. That is what “Kosher” means. It means prepared in a ritually pure fashion according to the laws or rituals spelled out by G-d, as He designated them to us and decided which things are considered pure or holy, clean or unclean. This holds for food, clothing, the outer vessel of a person, the inner state of a person, etc.
This separateness is what has set the Jewish people apart, so as not to do as the nations do, and to do things that the nations have done that are displeasing to G-d. We maintained this separateness by keeping our community somewhat close-knit, but not so much so that others could not be among us or be integrated within. The Old Testament makes sure to designate that the laws are intended just as significantly for us as for those who journey amongst us and are ensconced within our communities. The laws also apply to us as a community when we are not within our land, and are journeying outside of it — although, certain things are delayed or have changed since becoming a body of wanderers amongst the other nations and being expelled from their lands, after we were expelled (not all of us; just some of us) from our own land.
We never had equality within any outside land, and were always treated as the outsiders we were. Yet, those who had initially attacked the Jews in our own land, always knew they were attacking the Jews. The outside source materials always corroborate this fact — that the foreign nations attacking us knew they were attacking another people known, invariably, as the Jews, Yehudim, House of David, Beit David, etc., as is told in their “victory stele” or other such cultural traces left for posterity.
Jews became equal to the status of citizens only in 1790-91 in France, in a first-ever declaration of law of its kind in known history. Though it never reached the scale to which the law was meant, it was a start to equal rights in Europe beginning with the 18th century. The United States classified us as a distinct class of people in immigration entry documents, as well. We were mostly known as “Hebrews”, but that is synonymous to Jewish, anyways. This designation is now being used by some people in Christianity to try to make a designation to imply that these ancient people of the Old Testament, known as the Hebrews or the Israelites, are not the same people as the Jews calling themselves the Jews of today. This is just an ignorant and prejudicial statement made by those who wish to disassociate us from our own heritage — and it generally is done with malicious intent to try to usurp that heritage for themselves. Yet, the Jews, more than most any other people, are assuredly cognizant of their history and displacement throughout the millennia, tracing and tracking it still further with written accounts most people are unfamiliar with. This fact, however, does nothing to dispute our historic background and knowledge of our self-same existence.
Anti-Semitism was still a rampant part of United States history, unfortunately, and was perpetuated with cunning and underhandedness to subvert the constitutional laws and amendments from application toward the Jewish people. If Jews could be considered only a religion, and not a people, then they couldn’t sue for discrimination which occurred against them in employment, housing, recreational and opportunities of which other citizens could partake. Laws were made to protect race, religion, and other classifications; yet, employment and housing are not religious endeavors, and to assert that one is being discriminated against in these cases would not hold up. Yet, to bar someone because of their racial identity, could.
I have often said that the Jews are such a minority, that we are being discriminated against by not even being allowed to be considered as a people, and therefore, a minority. We have always identified as a separate people, and this peoplehood has been passed down, with its attendant gene pool, as a result. It does not mean that we have to be “purebred”. Is there even such a people that might exist as a “pure” race? I don’t think there would be many, if there are even hardly any. So, what defines a race, or a people, or an ethnicity, etc.?
It has been quite a juggling act to formulate the exact terminology which could include certain people, while allowing for others to be explicitly filtered out. I believe this is what has been done, purposefully, to the Jewish people, while allowing for the inclusion of others into the mix, so that they could receive constitutional protections, that even the Jews could not receive. For instance, the “Hispanic” people. Okay; they are a disparate people of different types that speak a mostly-common language of Spanish; yet they live in many different countries, or on different islands, and are scattered all over the world. How could they be considered one people, or subgroup? Because they can be known as an ethnicity, or a culture — meaning that they speak one common language, etc.
Well, that can be said of the Jewish people. They all used to speak Hebrew before they were forced out of their country and had to live in host countries, which never accepted them as equal citizens amongst them, anyways. The Jewish people then had to learn the languages of the nations of the host countries within which they were ensconced. Yet, we started off as one people with a Hebrew language, despite having to adapt to different cultures and languages. We still hang onto our common practices, rituals and heritage of our ancestry, despite the continued attempts by others to try to rid us of our heritage and religious/cultural practices.
So, there was wording made up to connote those who spoke Spanish, even though they were a mix of different people: Hispanic, Latino, etc. They became what is known as just an ethnicity, because it was finally figured out that they couldn’t be called a “race”; yet, I guess that those who wish to make sure that this very populous group in the world would not face discrimination had to come up with a means to include this sort-of subgroup, and thus they became an “ethnic” or “cultural” group. This was done so that they could specifically receive benefits from the United States government to which they would otherwise not be allowed. This is true; I have even taken pictures of some of these types of forms which would confer eligibility to receive U.S. government benefits under such classifications — but, this would still exclude the Jewish people, as such, being pegged by others into a solely religious subcategory to which receipt of benefits (if not a religious endeavor) would not apply.
Now, it seems that the “authorities” who determine such things would like to designate the Arabs with a category of their own, but the problem is in how to make it so the Jews don’t benefit from such actions. The solution they came up with is to lump those of Middle Eastern-type heritage into one category, so that the Jews would fall under it and be accounted for, but would have no voice and be voiceless amongst their enemies that wish their annihilation, anyways. Oh, and to extend the nationalism outward, so that, even though they are off-continent in an entirely separate location, make sure that the rest of the Arab culture find a way to be recognized within the one group — okay…. call it Middle East-North Africa. Yeah — that surely bridges the distances of uniting very different people under one big, huge, giant umbrella and give the Jews the place the world thinks they deserve — voiceless amongst their enemies. Okay; G-d is listening, too. Let’s see if this idea of Middle East-North Africa (MENA) actually becomes implemented, or not.
And in recent news, it is being implied that a football coach may have been denied the position for which he was applying (after having quit a similar position elsewhere, in order to be available to accept an offer for this potential position) due to his Jewish ancestry. In a first-ever decision, a judge is allowing the case to move forward as a contravention to titles of the Constitution protecting special classes from discrimination, and it being promoted by this judge that the classification of Jewish has been used racially in order to discriminate against Jewish people in housing, employment, and in other matters, and for which Jewish people had no redress under this present denial of classifying Jews as a separate racial identity, whether acknowledged in full by them or other people, or not… We shall see what shall transpire with this. I hope it works out that we will receive this protection as all other individuals do, and have done, to-date. It’s only fair.
For a background on this, see here:
PS – My work and my writings which have been appearing on WordPress lately have been seemingly under attack, as the various computers I work on keep mysteriously shutting down and booting me off my session in the middle of what I’m doing, as of the last few weeks, or so. Interesting, hmmmm….??? As a matter of fact, it happened with this posting…