A student approaches the Kotzker Rebbe and asks, “Who is a good Jew?” The Kotzker: “anyone who wants to be a good Jew.” The student is perplexed: “But Rebbe, who wouldn’t want to be a good Jew?” “That’s easy,” says the Kotzker, “someone who thinks he’s a good Jew already.” Judaism teaches never to settle. We never arrive. The merit is in constant yearning.
It is a process and we choose to be part of the process, it is way beyond a religion, and that is it why it is hard to undertsand. In the former Soviet Union, Jewish was my nationality, because there and also every where else in the world, besides a handful of countries including America, Canada, Australia, we are a nationality by our bloodline, being Jewish is in our DNA.
In America, Canada, and Australia as well as a few others, it is very easy to blend into the mainstream and lose sight of our roots. I am so grateful that although my parents knew nothing of the Jewish religion, deep down they knew their culture, and it was really important to them that I married Jewish to pass it on. It makes me personally sad when someone Jewish is disconnected, or even worse against Israel or the Jewish way of life. Here is a great article about growing up Jewish in a secular world, http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.74585
I was recently having a conversation with someone that is not Jewish about circumcision, it is a very personal decision, and my main point is that it was very important freedom of choice on how we choose to raise, discipline, and guide our own children. He was giving me scientific evidence, comparing it to FGM, and telling me that I am forced, and I am forcing my children.
I told him one thing,
You can never force a Jew to do anything,
We choose our path,
We are fulfilled by our path,
I am so grateful that I am connected to God and my community along with my family,
Gmar Chatima Tova,