Here's a great tip:
Enter your email address and we'll send you our weekly magazine by email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life, week after week. And it's free.
Oh, and don't forget to like our facebook page too!
Contact Us

Is a Self-Hating Jew Still a Jew?

Is a Self-Hating Jew Still a Jew?

 Email

Question:

I recently saw a “Jewish” professor speaking at an anti-Israel rally. I’ll spare you the details of what he said, but you can see some of his statements on Youtube to get the sense of his sentiments toward Jewish people and Israel. When I voiced my disgust to a friend who knew him as a child, I learned that his parents converted to Catholicism back in Europe, he never had a circumcision or a bar mitzvah, and he is married to a non-Jewish woman. He claims in his speeches that he is a Jewish son of a Holocaust survivor. He may be the son of a survivor, but can we say once and for all that he is not Jewish?

Response:

I share your disgust. But I also have to marvel at such a person. He is a vivid illustration of the indestructibility of the Jewish soul.

Here is a guy who could easily identify as a non-Jew, and has every reason to. His parents converted to another religion, he married out, he reviles everything Jewish, and he sides with the enemy of the Jewish people.

So why doesn’t he just drop the whole Jewish thing altogether?

Because he can’t. Being Jewish can’t be dropped. It is a Jew’s deepest identity. Whether you love it or hate it, it will always be there. No conversion can change that.

And so, in a twisted way, he expresses his Jewishness by being the anti-Jewish Jew.

Yes, he is using his Jewishness as a weapon against Jews.

No, he should not be invited to speak at any Jewish event.

But yes, he is a Jew.

People like that can do a huge amount of damage. But the biggest damage is to themselves. Here is a Jewish soul yearning to connect to Jewishness, who has blocked his own path. Here is someone whose primary preoccupation, whose main claim to fame, is his Jewishness, but a tormented Jewishness. Rather than embrace it, he fights it. He is an accomplice in his own persecution.

Aron Moss is rabbi of the Nefesh Community in Sydney, Australia, and is a frequent contributor to Chabad.org.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
 Email
Sort By:
Discussion (19)
May 13, 2016
Feelings do not change the color of your skin!
and yes, even Jews can be very stubborn and lack compassion. If you made some mistakes (and I'm not saying you did) adults are supposed to come to reason and judge a person on them apologizing/explaining their sorry rather than condemn them with no pity. Sorry, it is very sad to see some people Jewish or not acting like children
Feigele
Boca Raton FL
May 12, 2016
Whom is damaging whom?
As a Jewish convert with a magical relationship with the people I never knew existed and felt more like family than my biological family and wow the light of Torah I had always searched and longed for I finally found. At last I found the life path I was meant to be part of. Then the gossip and lies started and people began to push me away and eventually I was banned never to return. No trial, no evidence, only execution. Still I thought in time whatever was said will be cleared up and I can go back to my people, my life. It's going on 3 years of me giving it time, explaination, begging, now resentment, dislike, disgust, and hatred. I too come off as a self hating Jew when I am really begging for someone to please help me get back what was wrongfully ripped from me and hidden away forever. How am I supposed to possibly make teshuva when my own people actively keep me from my happiness in mitzvos who is really damaging whom and causing increasing damage to a Jewish soul at that point?
Anonymous
Texas
October 14, 2014
Consider…
If he WASN'T a Jew he wouldn't be considered "so bad" as he currently is.
BECAUSE he is a Jew he has the responsibility of stopping his hatred all the more so.
Anonymous
Eretz Israel
October 14, 2014
Very interesting.
As I said before, , if you are a Jew, you can run , but you cannot hide.
Joyce Oxfeld
Philadelphia
October 14, 2014
"Is a self-hatinging Jew still a Jew" response
I am alittle confused. I thought that if a Jew converts to Christianity by choice they no longer Jewish. If a child is born to that person after they had converted, then that person is not Jewish because they would be born to a non-Jewish mother. If a person is born to a mother who convert to Christianity is still Jewish, then if they (child of the convert who was raised Christian) were female would their children also be Jewish as well? I am alittle confused?
PeterL
Michigan, United States
October 14, 2014
I just recently discovered my ancestry and I'm saddened it wasn't discussed. Some family members feel our history was unknown, but with certain customs we were told were Spanish, medical conditions that are Jewish, and family members that have chosen to live in Israel, I feel it just wasn't spoken of. I have Ashkenazi and Sephardi ancestry.
Dona
October 8, 2014
The Anti-Jewish Jew
Since Judaism is a way of life and the "Jew" is not a race but a way of life, I do not see a Jew hating man who professes Catholicism as his parents religion, rejecting practicing the gift of the Tree of Life as his forefathers did as authentically Jewish. Yes he was born into the line of the 12 tribes and yes he could have all the richness of Life aboundant but until he decides to receive it he is a confused man in the world. God in His mercy will change his heart at some point. When is up to him.
Sarah ben Avraham
USA
October 7, 2014
No, he is using his Jewish blood as a tool to fight a people and faith that he hates. It is not his deepest identity. He is cynically using the fact of his blood to be regarded as an expert. It gives him more credibility. But is an evil thing indeed.
Anonymous
October 7, 2014
What is the proper response to such people? What do you recommend?
Heather
USA
October 6, 2014
Thanks for posting this. Love the way Judaism is.
Anonymous