I happen to like Allison, really, but that article left me seriously irritated. I don’t get the sudden outflow of Public Relations pieces among the orthodox. Since when do we care what non-Jews think of us? Kiruv is for Jews, not everybody else. Last time I checked, our whole deal was to be different (you know, like the whole staying solidly Jewish in Mitzrayim thing). Why is it necessary to provide an outline of Jewish stereotypes? Is this The Anti-Semites Handbook or something?
Jews have sex through a hole in the sheet. We don’t, so are you interested in laying that rumor or rest, or just talking about it? Now I know there’s a whole machloikes about this, but some say the idea came from the Nazis, who thought everything we did was through a hole in the sheet…the easiest way for them to describe a talis katan. If we never want to hear that again, tell your clowning friend the Nazi story about where the words came from and watch their facial features sober up real quick. Trust me, it’ll stop.
Wearing a wig/shaving your head. Bullshit. No goy I know ever had clue that I was wearing a sheitl unless I brought it up myself, and the ones that do know about it assume I’ve still got hair halfway down my back. Plus I’ve got news for you: as much as a hapless geyorus as I am, I did cut it ALL off when I got married, so maybe more of the ladies are shorn than Allison even realizes.
Subjugated woman. I applaud the author on this one. It’s an ugly stereotype for sure, but it gets tossed around about all deeply religious people of all faiths, and it’s lame to play the victim on this one.
Non-working woman. Never heard anyone say that. No one’s ever looked over the water cooler at me and asked, “Soooo, what brings you here today?”
Ten kids/lack of birth control. Again, don’t play the victim. That’s what they say about Mormons and Catholics, not Jews. Generally, people are completely in the dark about Jews and have more interesting things to do than speculate about their offspring.
Don’t believe in science. Last time I checked, Jews were known for rocking the science world. Creationism? Again, not a Jewish problem, it’s a Genesis problem, and that covers a whole lot more than us.
Hasidic. Nobody thinks all orthodox Jews are Hasidic; it’s more like they know all Hasidim are orthodox Jews. Does that make sense? In other words, say they walk past some misnaged guy on the street. They don’t know he’s an orthodox Jew, they just think he’s dressed like a guy out of an old detective movie.
Kosher = blessed by a rabbi. This is a big one, yes, but it’s not annoying. It’s a sign of ignorance. Still, I wasn’t put on this earth to teach everyone the realities of Judaism. It’s my religion, not theirs and I don’t care if they understand the ins and outs of it or not.
Can’t wear stylish clothes. If I’m dressed like shit when they meet me, then yeah, I could see where they’d get that from. Otherwise nobody cares enough to comment on it.
All men are rabbis. That’s not annoying either, it’s cute. Who wouldn’t want to be respected as a holy man even if it’s only by accident?
We’re rock-throwing, gay-bashing, judgmental child-molester supporters. Wow, way to jump it up a notch. Last time I checked we were just money-hungry. Again, it’s way bigger in Allison’s mind than it is among the non-Jews’. Besides, that eighth-year-old was dressed like a slut.
Gefilte fish/borscht/subpar foods. The extent of the average person’s knowledge about kashrus: “You don’t eat pork, right?” Nobody delves into the quality let alone the selection of foods we can eat. If they cruise the kosher aisle at the supermarket, they know we also eat Tradition soups and matzo crackers, too. That’s good food, right?
You drink Manischewitz wine and listen to klezmer music, right? You’re damn right we do.
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