Friday, April 6, 2012
It is a constant source of sadness to me the amount of anti-Semitism I encounter in my small community.
Because I'm known to have a song for every occasion, in my class today, a classmate asked if I knew a song for Passover. I started singing "Dayenu". Then I laughingly asked, "Isn't it amazing that the most popular--not the most religious--Easter and Christmas songs were written by Jews?" Another classmate asked, "Which ones?" I answered, "Easter Parade" and "White Christmas" by Irving Berlin and "Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire" by Mel Torme." I said, "I love to sing "Easter Parade" just to be able to say "Rotogravure", which, of course I had to demonstrate.
In this enjoyable conversation, another woman in the group spoke up and made a remark about how terrible it was that the Jews hadn't accepted Jesus.
I asked, "Why is it terrible?"
She was momentarily flummoxed but soon responded, "They'll be going to Hell." I answered, "But THEY don't believe in Hell." She looked positively bewildered and said she didn't believe me. I said, "Perhaps you should study some." Obviously insulted, she said, angrily, "I do study." I said, "Obviously you haven't studied the Bible."
She said, "I know my Bible." I said, "Perhaps you're confusing the Bible with the New Testament, as it's called." She said, "They're the same thing and what do you mean by saying as it's called?" I answered, "But, of course, they are NOT the same thing; the Bible is the Bible and the New Testament is the New Testament."
As oftentimes happens in a heated discussion, she started using ad hominem remarks, instead of relying on logic.
She said, dismissively, and with an air of superiority, "I'll just pray for them." I countered with, "They don't need or want YOUR prayers; why don't you do what Jesus said and pray ye in your own closet?" She asked, "Where do you get off telling me that?" I said, "Somebody SHOULD be telling you."
She said, "It's none of your business." I answered, "Exactly, just as it's none of YOUR business what the Jews do!"
She asked, "Why do you care?" I answered, "Because I dislike bigotry." She practically screamed at me and said, "I'm not a bigot."
I asked, "Do you know any Jews; have you ever spoken to a Jew?" She admitted that she had not.
I said, "Well, I hear that Jesus was a good Jew and I doubt that He would want YOU to be saying judgmental things about His people!"
Deciding to err on the side of safety, I moved away, while I was still safe and sound.