Thursday, July 29, 2010


I will admit that I harbor some prejudice against Jews who convert to another faith. It's not something I'm proud of, but there it is. There is a feeling of abandonment -- we're an embattled minority, and these folks are taking the easy way out. A socially sanctioned (encouraged, even) Michael Jackson pill, if you will. And sometimes, converts, in their quest to prove their loyalty to their (new) faith, are amongst the most zealous oppressors of their former brethren (this, of course, is not limited to folks converting from Judaism).

But this my problem, and my prejudices do not deserve any more protection by the law than anyone elses. So when an Israeli Oxford Professor claims she was discriminated against after converting from Judaism to Anglicanism, assuming her story is accurate, I think she has every right to legal redress.

Of course I have the right to oppose anti-Jewish behavior from any source, whether it be from Jews, Gentiles, or formerly-Jewish Gentiles. But neither I, nor anyone else, has the right to take a preemptive strike -- discriminating for fear of discrimination. My prejudices are my own problem, and I should be the one (as much as possible) to bear their burden.


1 comment:

N. Friedman said...


Conversos is the exact correct word. And, one might read the debates that occurred in 15th Century Spain regarding whether Jews could, in fact, ever really become Christians. On this, I highly recommend - and have before - The Origins of the Inquisition in Fifteenth Century Spain, by Benzion Netanyahu. One can disagree with Professor Netanyahu, but it is difficult to disagree with facts that he uncovered in the form of whole reams of debates justifying and opposing the Conversos, arguing, based on Christian texts, that Jews were capable of becoming Christian and Jews were not capable of becoming Christian. It is all depressingly, so so very human.