The Plight of Being Born a Jew - Personal Essay Example

3 pages
557 words
Carnegie Mellon University
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Being born and raised in a Jewish family is both a good and a bad thing. Parents usually assume that their children will not only follow their beliefs but also keep their traditions while passing them to the next generation. Most of the children born in Jewish families dont really have an option and arent encouraged to explore other options. Being pressured by parents and family, these children usually grow up in the religion of their parents. Having been born a Jew I could not be exempted from these problems.

As a young kid, my parents forced me to go to the temple on Fridays for prayers and later on Sunday to learn Hebrew. I wasnt allowed to go anywhere during Shabbos or use any electronics. I was only allowed to eat kosher food. Since I grew up this way, these experiences became normal and ordinary. However, it started to become annoying in elementary school when I had to explain to friends why I can't hang out on Fridays and was not able to eat the food they offered me. When I got questions about Judaism I wouldnt have answers because I didnt really know much about it. My parents sent me to a public school where I didnt learn much about Judaism. As I got older I stopped doing all the things my parents told me to do. I was expected to do too much of something I really had no idea about. Like going to temple to pray yet I could read neither read nor recite most of the scriptures and the books which were written in Hebrew.

Nonetheless, I am still proud of being a Jew and I respect their religion despite the fact that I dont believe in it. The Jewish religion helped me to meet a lot of the people Im still friends with today. I even got a few jobs working in New York City because of it. I got to experience Israel many times and I went there for free because Im Jewish. A lot of the values youre taught since youre a child can really make you a good person. Youre encouraged to give lots of charity, not to lie, to stay humble, and to be educated. I also admire the manner in which people living in different Jewish communities understand and help each other in all aspects of life. Even though I dont believe in it I wouldnt change my childhood because of the things I learned and people I met who would extend their hand to help me out whenever I found myself in a problem.

It is also challenging growing up into a Jewish family and attending a public school. Most of the kids look at you like your crazy if you dont eat bacon and cant use electronics for 24 hours. But Im happy that I was born into it. It helped me get a lot of connections and meet great people. My beliefs started to fade away when turned 14 years. I found out that a lot of things written in the Torah appeared to be virtual and unrealistic. This unreality made me start viewing religion as a fallacy thought up by our ancestors who didnt know anything. Despite the fact that I am not a believer, being Jewish helped me become who I am today.

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