He who loves father or mother more than me…

(Note: this is something that was written some months ago, and does not really reflect my current sentiments. As always in such journals, it is risky being transparently honest about what one is experiencing in the way of raw emotion….the fear being that it would be taken the wrong way by some readers. One can only hope that such is not the case.)

“…is not worthy of me. And he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me..he who acknowledges me before men, I will acknowledge before my Father, and he who denies me before men, I will deny before my Father in Heaven” . I have heard these words before- and today they leave me feeling empty with a grief that surpasses my ability to articulate it. I guess I can see the writing on the wall. I am toast, hooped, beyond the vale. Oh yes, I am sure that it takes courage- as the preacher said- to be an “Orthodox Christian” in this world, in Canada, at a time of peace. But the reality is that I am more likely to be killed for being a Jew. Does it not take courage for me to remain a Jew, to love God and my family as a Jew? It takes courage to say “Sh’ma Yisrael, Hashem eloheinu, Hashem ehad”. It takes courage to say with pride that God loves me as a Jew- and that I don’t have to be anything else, and that I can love and appreciate the teachings of Jesus -as a JEW. It takes courage for Israeli doctors and nurses to take Palestinian babies and repair their heart defects, knowing that those babies will grow up to hate them and desire to kill them. It takes courage to exist in the face of a growing worldwide wave of antiSemitism. And it takes courage to continue to love those closest to me who would really like to see me change to be like them- regardless of what it might do to my spirit. It sounds like the above scriptures provide a convenient proviso to regard as irrelevant all that I am or say, because after all, I am NOT an Orthodox Christian. And although the Orthodox faith can boast of countless saints, there are many, many more men, women, and children who have been slaughtered in the name of Christ for just being Jewish- and those Jews have left an amazing legacy of life, art, and acts of lovingkindness. In other words- they have also “walked the walk” and lived lives pleasing to God. To say that there is no place for them in the world to come is to deny the grace and the mercy of God for those who love and place their trust in Him. Does there always have to be only “one way to God…one way to authentically worship”, while the other “ways” are regarded as foolishly inferior- or worse, Satanic? For those who might think that I am being overly dramatic, sensitive, or incessantly whining- I really don’t care. I miss my family! I am sick of trying to be what others want me to be- it would be nice to be loved for who I am, whatever that “am” is. This is a very lonely period in my life, a time when I must place a great distance between myself and certain family members- not because I want to, but because I have been told it is mandatory, and I furthermore feel that it is unquestioningly expected of me. God forbid that I should be perceived as one who is interfering. But to think that I am not suffering is a joke- I just don’t have a place to take it. Hence the cyber wail. This is an awfully big desert. But, there is nothing I can do but suck it up.

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