Commentary by Dr. Ursula A. Falk



Our Jewish Strivings, Hopes, Beliefs, and Realities, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow


As a small minority in this world, as the “chosen people”, as a beleaguered scapegoated folk, what is it for which we are searching?  We must look at our past, our heritage, the expectations that we have and those that the outside masses have attributed to us as well.  We do not want to be stigmatized any longer and struggle to shed this yoke which we certainly have never deserved.  We could not change the hatred of the past and still today there are groups of people who have blind hatred toward us and who would revel in sadistic pleasure if they could destroy us, our hard earned homeland Israel, and any success that we enjoy at the expense of strenuous labor and deprivation. We are known as people who stand together to defend ourselves and to be protective of one another.  There are fortunately only a few of our erstwhile Jewish brethren who are self haters to the point where they denounce us and thus they denounce themselves.  They have taken on the role of our enemies and have joined them to further alienate and destroy.  There are those of us who are “silently” belligerent by intermarrying and diluting their Jewishness and diminish the small number of Jews who exist in our hemisphere. The members of this segment believe they can hide under the cloak of their Catholic, Protestant and even Muslim façade.  They frequently deny their very identity which in itself is very destructive.

Since historically we were given no accolades as Jews, our beliefs were varied.  We believed that if we prayed, attended synagogue, were charitable, brought home the poor, fed them and saw the good in them, strictly adhered to as many of the Karyagim Mitzwot including keeping the Schabbat, we felt that for the martyrdom that we endured in this world we would be rewarded in “yener Welt”, meaning after our death. We could thus bear the slings and arrows of our misfortunes in this life.  We would be rewarded by dying  and being buried before Schabbat and would go straight to heaven, to be near Hashem, arrive at a set Schabbes  table, and feast on Leviathan (an unbelievable delicacy).  We would be cherished for our good deeds in the forever after.

In the middle of the twentieth century until today, our strivings have changed considerably.  We work extremely hard to excel, to study in the universities, to earn a good living, to safeguard ourselves so that we have knowledge through study and material goods to help us to help ourselves.  We do not want to be the fiddler on the roof and since money means power we do not feel the intimidation that once was our lot when we lived in the Polish “Staettel” and in the ghettos or in the Judengassen in Nazi Germany.  We are no longer subservient and have shown the world and ourselves that we are not the proverbially frightened sheep that was historically our image.  We have learned to defend ourselves with our knowledge, our schooling, and our earnings. We are very much a part of the American scene;  are loyal to this our great country, are generous contributors to our government and have upheld Israel to have a land where those who need it can live.  Our fellow Jews now have a place to which to run.  Unfortunately our enemies the Arabs have made life there hazardous.  We have shown our courage and fight back with all of our might, with little fear, and a great deal of bravery.  Even though our Jewish brethren are a very small minority considering the enormous populations and size of the Arab lands we know that we cannot allow ourselves to be eradicated by our enemies.  Hatred and envy by our would-be oppressors has no bounds and killing is their pleasure!  In Israel, cowering to these subhuman terrorists has never been the modus operandi of the Jewish Nation. Only through our conviction in our self worth, in our brethren and in our fellow humans will we survive as Jews and as a people!


Dr. Ursula A. Falk is a psychotherapist in private practice and the co-author, with Dr. Gerhard Falk, of  Deviant Nurses & Improper Patient Care (2006).

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