Recognition: To be noticed is important to all of humanity!
It begins with the infant who cries and receives his attention and notice in that fashion. Adults receive attention in a number of ways. They are noticed through their appearance, their verbiage, their occupation or profession, their intelligence or lack of same, and much more. Students want to be noticed for their good grades, through their friends, through the importance of their parents. Having no other positive attributes, they may look different from their peers. They may attempt to have the appearance of a movie star, a haircut like a person they admire, or an appearance that everyone will notice. We all yearn to be known for the religion we have; mostly the comfortable religion of the parent or of another pleasant and likeable individual, a friend. Often the religion of the child is that of the parent or, if they have negative feelings for their forefathers they will either have no religious beliefs or they change to a new order. Sometimes their “new,” altered or changed “truths” will be beliefs that their parents will strongly have disliked. The child becomes an angry believer or disbeliever and they are exhibiting anger toward their childhood and holding their parents responsible for whatever anger they have accumulated throughout their growing years. It is one way of letting their caretakers know that they are in charge of themselves and will show their rigid elders who is the “boss.”
Looking at history, we remember how our Jewish beliefs were often abandoned by a number of folk who thought that because they abandoned their religion, Hitler would accept them with open arms. What occurred was that this leader of Nazis and his henchmen attacked and killed the “former”Jews with an unbelievable venom. The fear of the converted Christians and their own lack of belief in their religion of birth created their death. Anti-Semites found the majority of these folk. Marrying Christian partners did not help. The converts worsened their situation. They had damaged their meager opportunity to escape out of Germany into freedom.
As rational adults, we know that we cannot basically change ourselves. As Jewish people we must look at who we are, what we want from life, what would make us accept our religion and ourselves. We must realize that most of our parents did the best they could. They may have begun as peddlers, factory workers, seamstresses, and were employed at other very simple and poorly paid positions, but they worked hard and tirelessly for long hours to feed their children and to give them a better future. Often we, as the children and grandchildren of our foregoers, had the opportunity to know who we are, where we came from, what our opportunities were, and the freedom that we had to eventually better our difficult circumstances.
We must be the proverbial brothers and sisters to one another, have faith in ourselves and our Jewish ancestors who believed in themselves as well as better futures for their offspring. We must not allow the anti-semites of the world to paint us with false pictures, and to denounce and label us with false names and vicious prejudices. We must stand together and not allow ourselves to be diminished by our enemies. We must be proud of all that we as a small group have achieved. As American Jewish people, we must take the example of our fellow brethren in Israel. We are not helpless children who must accept lies, hatred, and more. We have among us a large number of educated human beings who have become the professionals, the inventors, the doers, the discoverers. We have produced some of the greatest geniuses of the world, of which Einstein was one. Let us have pride of our religion, our accomplishments, and our existence!