Conversion (Regret?)

When I was 8, I went to the mikveh to become “officially” Jewish, so that when I was 13 I could become at Bat Mitzvah, so that I could spend the rest of my life in the bliss of Jewish adulthood. I gladly learned, celebrated, and debated with Jews and non-Jews on aspects of culture, history, and religion.

Politics was always a separate matter. I know that what I believed in – equality, justice – were not universal ideals of that little speck halfway across the world that called itself Jewish. For a while when I was younger I blindly follows until I got just far enough into the structural hierarchy of the cult of organized religion to realize that this was sick and twisted and not something I wanted to be connected with. I became, for lack of a better term, anti-Zionist.

Still, I knew I should not instigate political debate with Jewish friends. They knew my stance and accepted it. We agreed to disagree. We were all Jewish and we shared a culture, tradition, and history, and that was fine. We all believed in doing the right thing, mitzvahs, charity, work in our communities. We all tried to be good people.

Then I came here, and here I am ashamed to be a Jew. And that sickens me. I do not want my name to be affiliated with what this government does in the name of my religion, in my name. This is not my Judaism. I do not sanction this.

I do not sanction land stealing, expulsion, militancy, resource-hogging, systemized discrimination, second-class citizens, breach of international law (time and time and time again), pseudo-theocratic neo-fascist regimes.

“Jewish democracy” is perhaps a very apt, if oxymoronic, term. It is a democracy if you are Jewish. If not, better luck next time.

Being here makes me wonder if I made a mistake when I converted; an 8-year-old can never be fully informed in these matters. But no, someone made a mistake in attaching Judaism’s name to this state. They tried to create this in the name of all Jews but without our consent, for there will always be those like me who know this is wrong, and who will do what they can to fight it.

And we are Jews.


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