The Anti-Jewish Jew
by Rabbi Aron Moss
I recently saw a "Jewish" professor speaking at an anti-Israel rally with a Palestinian scarf around his neck. I was voicing my disgust to a friend of mine who knows this character from his youth. Apparently his parents had converted to Catholicism back in Europe and he was not circumcised or had a bar mitzvah, and 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?
I share your disgust. But alongside my disgust, I 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 finds expression of 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 their Jewishness, but a tormented Jewishness. Rather than embrace it, he fights it. He is an accomplice in his own persecution.
We need to counter such attacks on our people from one of our own, but we can't take away the fact that he is a Jew. Somehow that Jewish spark is still alive. And any time he wants to embrace it, we will embrace him.