Learning from the Jews
edited: Saturday, March 12, 2005
By Jake George
Not "rated" by the Author.
Posted: Saturday, March 12, 2005
Become a Fan
Things I have learned as a young man from the jewish people
Learning from the Jews.
I was a young man growing up in a Jewish community. Only I was a Native American boy, living among the Jews. I didn’t understand why they had days off from school for religious reasons and I did not. I didn’t understand why they lived in tents outside their homes for a few weeks out of the year. I didn’t understand why many of them wore long sleeve shirts on the hottest days. I didn’t understand why some had numbers tattooed on their arms, instead of a medicine wheel, or a heart with Mom in the middle.
Making friends with their children, I was taken into a new community I knew nothing about. Under the ordinary day to day life lived a culture that went back thousands of years. From slavery, to freedom, to homelessness, to greatness, to genocide and back to freedom; all of this because of their religion was strong in their hearts.
I thought about my past relatives. We went from freedom, to slavery, to genocide, to living on bare scraps of land that no one else wanted, captive in a land that we were forced to relocate to. I saw a lot of similarities. Our religion was outlawed, as savage. Our way of life was outlawed because it was wrong. Yet our religion made us strong.
Like the Jews our numbers are millions less than they were, but we still survive. We are fiercely protective of the land that we were given to relocate to. It may not have been much but we worked to make it better and when we did, the people who put us there, wanted it for their own without the labor and heart it took to build it.
I learned that even with horrible atrocities against our peoples we could still have compassion. We still had trust in the truth of other’s words. I learned forgiveness, not to forget. We are very similar Indians and Jews. More so, I have discovered this as I have grown into a man.