Religion As More Than a Belief System, A Community

Jason finds comfort in community

Jason Gelb, Contributing Writer

For me, Judaism is a lot more than just a religion. I don’t believe you have to be a practicing Jew to call yourself Jewish. I see it more as a community and a culture than simply a religion. I think almost every Jewish person at Blake would agree that at least one of our good friends is also Jewish. Personally, I’m not very religious. Sure, I’ll go to Synagogue for important holidays and have a Bar Mitzvah, but I am the Jewish equivalent of a Christian that only goes to church on Christmas and Easter. Despite this lack of practice, being Jewish is still a major part of my identity. This is largely due to Judaism’s emphasis on creating a tight knit community. Anti-Semitism is one of the oldest forms of bias in existence, and well before recent events such as the Holocaust, Jews have been forced to band together for security and business. The ADL estimates that 9-11% of citizens in the United States harbor extreme Anti-Semitic views. Furthermore, as the conflict surrounding Israel and Palestine becomes more and more political, it is likely that these numbers will only increase, so this practice of creating a close community has not gone away in recent times.