Hated, but also loved

I accept that I’m hated

Antisemitism is all over the international news these days, but living in Israel, I don’t have to face any of it directly. Still, I am pained to my core at what I’ve been reading in the press; and I am distressed that the idea of my traveling anywhere abroad feels more threatening than usual. As a Jew, it’s impossible for me to not take Jew hatred personally.

On the other hand, depressing though this is, antisemitism is deeply baked into my Jewish identity; it never surprises me. I perceive it as an eternal phenomenon, and all that changes is the degree to which it gets expressed. It’s often noted that antisemitism is the oldest hatred; and this, I think, is the truth. Antisemitism was, is, and always will be.

It’s sad, but sometimes I wonder whether we Jews would still be around if wasn’t for antisemitism. If we hadn’t been so hated throughout our history, would we have retained our identities as Jews? As a proud Jew, would I rather that my people cease to exist as a distinct entity (due to the natural human inclination towards assimilation) but also cease to be hated? Or would I rather retain my connection to my millennia-old heritage and accept that somebody somewhere is bound to hate me and my family for merely existing? Given those alternatives, I proudly choose my national identity.

It’s not that I want to be hated; but I accept that it is inevitable. Jew hatred is a form of xenophobia, meaning fear of the unknown. Human beings naturally fear that which is different and unknown, and maintaining a distinct national identity (i.e. ‘Jewish’), apart from the majority of one’s society, makes one different.

But it also feels good to feel loved

Speaking personally, I think that being a member of a minority group that has been hated by so many people throughout the course of its history has made me a kinder and more empathetic person. Antisemitism saddens me, but not only as a distinct phenomenon faced by my people. More broadly, racism, misogyny, homophobia, and all other forms of baseless hate that are directed at human beings tie my stomach in knots. It’s hard for me to even write this paragraph because of the images and emotions it brings up for me.

In fact, the subject of hate isn’t even something that I want to be writing about in the first place.

With my mother visiting us now from the USA, we’ve had some political conversations and exchanged notes about what’s going on in our respective home countries. The subject of antisemitism, of course, has arisen.

In one of our conversations, upon reflection, I noted that I have been very encouraged by the support and love that I have received on WordPress from readers all over the world. I haven’t had to delete a single antisemitic or anti-Israeli comment. If anything, I’ve only received comments of kindness, concern, and sincere human empathy. This is hard for me to share publicly because it makes me feel vulnerable… but your support means a tremendous deal to me.

I would imagine that most members of all minority groups expect to be mindlessly hated by fearful, ignorant people, as I do, and that they, like I, accept xenophobia as par for the course…

But it also feels good to feel loved.

People need to spread love towards strangers. We all bleed the same blood and we are all part of a global community now.

Aloe Blacc (b. 1979)

82 thoughts on “Hated, but also loved”

    1. Jenny, we’re really fine. Thank you. It’s just the news from all around the world that gets me down. These feel like very scary times, and I’m not usually one to make overly melodramatic statements ๐Ÿ˜ฆ


      1. I am glad you are all OK. I saw the news about Israel here in England. I have been worrying about you all. I am very glad you are OK. The news seems unreal at the moment. Sending you all our best wishes from the UK

  1. While everyone experiences hatred and prejudice to some degree, I do believe the Jewish people have suffered the most. Satan hates whatever God loves. While God loves us all, the Jewish people were the chosen race for the Messiah to come from. I feel that is why the Jewish people suffer the most. I wouldn’t be considered a minority, so I guess I’m a majority? Anyways, you can trust me on this, we are much hated too. It doesn’t make sense to hate someone for their DNA, but it abounds anyways.

  2. Good post, David. It was an interesting perspective I haven’t considered before. I’ve often wondered why anti-Semitism is the oldest hatred. I think your explanation makes as much sense as anyone I’ve heard: Simply because Jews are different. I guess that hatred usually doesn’t make sense.

    I’ve also been saddened by the spike in anti-Semitism, especially here in the States. However, I’m glad that the WP community has given you so much support. One thing blogging on WP has taught me is that we are a global community, like the quote says.

  3. David–I believe that their is a great spiritual battle going on–and the Jewish people have been targeted by the Evil One, because through them the Messiah would come. I believe that this is the source of all the hatred your people have endured. Daniel 7-9/ Revelations 12 & 13
    I for one am grateful to God for you and your people, and I am not the only one–there are many, many, many more. May our voices be heard over all the voices of hate.

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