Chapter 5: I Am a Jew
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I Am a Jew 173

bthe values inherent in all traditions and aware of the falacies bin all traditions. I don’t believe in a system of thought that is bomniscient. Given my beliefs, the possibility that my chil- bdren may convert to another religion does not concern me.”

bOr Ned Polsky:

b“Unless one defines a Jew in strictly racist terms—i.e., as banyone born of Jewish parents—I am not a Jew and since bchildhood have not thought of myself as such. . . . To me bthe bar mitzvah ritual was (and is) utter nonsense. My chief bemotion at the time was shame at not having the courage to brebel against what I knew to be false. . . .

b“I see no virtues unique to the Jewish tradition and some bevils. . . .

b“All religions rest on false assumptions. I hope any chil- bdren I have will become atheists.

b“I am anti-Zionist. Jewish chauvinism is no less despicable bthan other kinds of chauvinism and more despicable than bmany since it is based on racist ideology. In the dispute bbetween Israel and the 900,000 Arab refugees it had driven bfrom their lands, I support the Arabs.”

bThese are the voices of the reactionaries, the self-haters, bthe ignoramuses, and the call of the hour is to create a bdifferent kind of a Jew, one with pride and self-respect. bWhat the JDL has done to create this latter kind of a Jew is bindisputable.

bConsider the applications to join the JDL from young bJews and, in response to the question “What prompted you bto join the JDL and how did you hear about us?” the follow- bing answers:

b“I finally got angry enough at Jewish oppression to join bthe group that tries to do something about it.”

b“Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Warsaw Ghetto, anti- bSemitism . . .”

b“Rabbi Kahane won me over. If I wouldn’t have heard of byou I’d be deaf!”

bAnd the adults. The young woman who wrote:

b“I am only writing a brief note to thank you from the bbottom of my heart for giving me back the greatest gift of all, bthe gift of my heritage . . .”

bThese are the voices that I hear whenever I listen to the b 

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Chapter 5: I Am a Jew