Being Jewish has never been an easy thing. I have to realize this- the majority culture could care less about my holidays or traditions, or the fact that Jews are currently facing one of the worst existential crises since Haman planned to wipe us out 2,400 years ago. When you live in a majority culture, you become invisible- except if you happen to be singled out as a convenient scapegoat. Got wars? Blame the Jews. Got plague? Blame the Jews. Got acne? Blame the Jews. If you hear it long enough, and often enough, you begin to believe it. People love to have someone to blame for their troubles, and pinning the world’s woes on the “Christ-killers” gives those TRULY responsible a convenient “out”. Jews have been demonized throughout the centuries- so it is no surprise that Israel is demonized today. The world does not acknowledge the good that has come from (and indeed continues to flow from) the People of the Book. The west does not understand that according to the PA, the “occupied territories” includes all of Israel proper. It is not the intention of the Palestinian authority to live side by side with Israel- nothing but the total destruction of Israel will suffice. If (God forbid) that should happen- will Jews be safe anywhere in the world? While the west turns its collective eyes away, and buries its collective head in the sand, the modern-day Haman continues to plot the annihilation of my country, my people. Never has Purim been such a badly needed holiday. Who is the Esther willing to stand up against the powers that hold the keys to life and death? I am sad to say that it is not the present government of Israel. We carry our sorrow very close to our hearts- for there are few who truly understand, or care about, the precariousness of our situation. There are Christians who love Israel- but with a caveat (Jews will eventually become Christians when they see how nice ‘true believers’ are to them…and besides, they need to be converted before Jesus will come again to set up his kingdom). Other supercessionalist Christians believe that THEY are the new Israel, and that the anomolously extant Jews live outside God’s favour, cursed, consigned to eternal damnation and fire. And then, there are Christians who actually believe that God loves the Jews, and has not forgotten His covenant with them, and will fulfill all the beautifully comforting words spoken by the prophets to them. Such Christians are branded as heretics by the more orthodox of their faith. It is not easy to wade through such a theological quagmire..to keep loving, and praying that His will be done. To keep trusting that God’s love is greater than the doctrines that wish to dissect, qualify the merits of Love’s recipients, and serve as gatekeepers to “whosoever will may come”. In my own personal journey, I often feel very alone. I am the only Jew in my family. The pressure that I feel to dilute or compromise my faith is, at times, enormous. I don’t think that God minds so much- I believe that He would rather I build bridges than walls- a sentiment shared by Abraham Joshua Heschel. However, bridges are supposed to be two-way- and at this point in time, the traffic is only going in one direction.