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“I Am Jewish”

What It Means To Be A Jew - Andrew Lustig

My friend Jon sent me this link when I told him about my previous post about religious extremism and how it hit really close to home because it involved a good friend of both of ours. (Jon was actually in the email chain that our friend replied to me to stop sending him NSFW stuff, haha.)

In case you’re wondering, no I don’t agree with everything he says in his video but the key thing is that he does a much, much better job representing the majority of Jews today. I think it is problematic to say the least when people don’t speak out against extremist lunatics which is why I am taking this space to once again talk about this issue. It is a great video but you can, if you so choose jump to a minute in because he doesn’t start until then and if you’re like me, you find the opening of showing a ton of pictures as a collage boring (and I’m Jewish!).

Some Notes

  • I don’t speak Yiddish
  • I dislike Phish and all jam bands but I know it is a Jewish stereotype.
  • “Adon Olam” is a prayer song sang at the end of prayers on Saturday morning. It is traditional for a child (8-12 years old in general) to get up in the synagogue and be the cantor for the entire congregation for it.
  • I have only seen “Don’t Mess With The Zohan.”
  • “Torah” is the word which in different contexts can mean the Pentateuch (aka 5 Books of Moses); all Jewish law and thought which has been published; and the parchment scroll which is read from in synagogue, is handwritten, and contains the Pentatecuh.
  • “Yarmulke” is another word for skullcap and another word for it is “kipah”
  • I think gefilte fish is pretty damn good.
  • My dad also wasn’t a lawyer, he was a doctor. My brother and uncle are lawyers.
  • I don’t have an IDF sweatshirt, never did. I don’t have a chai around my neck either but I do have my name written in Hebrew letters in the shape of a Star of David.
  • “Chalah” is a type of bread. On the Sabbath it is covered while the benediction is made over the wine before the meal.
  • “Shekel” is the Israeli currency. The red strings he refers to are sold at holy places around Israel and are supposed to be good luck or ward of evil spirits…I can’t remember which it may be both.


  1. danah
    January 16, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Interesting video. Extremist beliefs are never a good thing the world will never be black and white so people should force it.

    Nice post.

    I don’t know about a lot of the stuff he talks about. I guess I am not up on my possible Jewish stereotypes which I consider to be a good thing.

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