I Hate Being Jewish

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Cards against Humanity is one of my favorite games. It’s funny, it’s simple, and it’s not very competitive.

When it’s my turn to judge, those who know me know that certain cards are automatic winners. Cards I deem so hilarious that everyone else can just give up and go home.

Auschwitz. Hitler. Self-microwaving burrito.

What even is a self-microwaving burrito? Teiku. No one knows.

As a child, the term self-hating jew was thrown around a lot. Especially when certain names were mentioned, like Noam Chomsky.

My mother brandished the term with particular frequency, and I recall the particular derision in her voice. The amount of judgement that only someone who deeply hates themselves can muster up.

Hating your Jewishness is frowned upon. Hating your very essence is the most Jewish thing you can do.

What even is a self-hating Jew? It feels just as magical, as self-sufficient, as capable, as a self-microwaving burrito. “Instead of needing to rely on others to be hated, you just do it to yourself.”

I hate being Jewish. At this point, not because of anything I’ve done personally or that we’ve done as a collective. As it’s been pointed out, for most of history we’ve been victims, not perpetrators.

I hate being Jewish because contending with anti-semitism is a royal pain in the ass.

It feels like an amplification of the general human condition, and my anti-natalist views towards being born. To be alive is to suffer. To be Jewish is to suffer more.

My reaction to human suffering, and the despicable behavior of humans who often perpetuate it, is revulsion to the point of not wanting to share the same earth with these creatures.

To be alive is to suffer, and I think we should think deeply before dragging more people into this world of suffering.

If you’re predisposed for additional suffering, I think this requires even deeper contemplation. If you’ll be giving someone a genetic disease, for example. Or if you’ll be making them part of a persecuted minority. You’re setting them up for extra pain.

To be Jewish is to suffer in ways that many people don’t need to. I don’t believe it’s metaphysical, but I do think Jews have suffered disproportionately throughout history, and up until today.

To grapple with the immeasurable suffering of our ancestors. To struggle with simmering antisemitism that is always right beneath the surface, or, as the case currently seems to be, right above it.

It boggles my mind that people’s reaction after the holocaust, or after October 7th, is to double down and bring more humans into this godforsaken earth.

I don’t comprehend the concept of being proud because you’re disproportionately hated. It’s not an indication necessarily that you’ve done something wrong, but hey, wouldn’t you rather be proud about being universally loved?

I resent being human, grappling with the suffering that is part of the human condition.

I resent being Jewish and grappling with the extra suffering that is my lot.

The least I can do is not perpetuate this upon anyone else.

“But then they’ll have won,” you’ll admonish, clutching your Jewish star. “In the battle of good and evil, it’ll be evil who’s prevailing.”

Maybe it will be.

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