Antisemitism is the oldest form of ethnic hate on the earth (3,500+ years) and it is sadly still alive and kicking. Until you are a part of the Jewish community or close to it, you will have no idea just how prevalent antisemitism is in American society. This is why I am writing this, as a convert (and Ashkenazi Jew), and to help other converts to understand, you will be directly or indirectly affected by this deplorable denigration and hatred. While most of my family were happy that I’m converting, one individual family member said a lot of very antisemitic things before telling me “Jesus is the only way.”
I was taken aback when it happened to me, I wasn’t sure how to respond, after all this was family and they never said a bad thing about Jewish people before and who had a Jewish best friend most of their life. It hurt horribly, but I’d decided to simply not talk to them anymore after the instance, that is until family functions.
Then I started hearing antisemitism in comments from people, “Don’t be a Jew,” in reference to someone being stingy, when in Judaism we give until we can’t anymore in more ways than anything I’d experienced outside of Judaism. On social media, antisemitism reigns supreme amongst the “woke,” who feel like every Jew, even those who have never seen the soil of Israel, are responsible for everything wrong in the Arab world. Trust me, a simple “Shabbat Shalom,” online may in fact yield a ton of slurs and “Free Palestine,” comments as if they were giving away pieces of a country. Among conspiracy theorists, you’ll often hear “The Jews control everything,” which is the absolute stupidest comment I’ve heard.
The January 6th capital riot found people wearing “Camp Auschwitz,” tee-shirts, mocking the holocaust and making light of a literal genocide that took place, whereas 1/3 of the entire Jewish population was exterminated. In Texas, a lawmaker recently stated that when teaching the holocaust in schools, we should look at opposing views (aka revisionist Nazi history). A Jewish/Israeli food truck in Philadelphia couldn’t be a part of a food truck celebration, due to too many threats received.
…Remember, we haven’t even touched on the Neo-Nazis, white nationalists, and other hate groups who desecrate Jewish graveyards, deface synagogues, and have even murdered Jews for their agenda.
I am in no way discouraging people on the path to conversion, just giving a heads up to what they might not know about the prevalence of antisemitism. You must be prepared to walk alongside every other Jew and stand against the rising tides of antisemitism, no matter where it comes from. I myself wear a Kippah and Magan star (star of David) necklace proudly, every day and as I put my hand against my mezuzah on my doorpost, I thank G-d for his protection of me and my family. I walk fearlessly in my pride of being a Jew, regardless of what happens to me, I am proud of being Jewish and in the process of conversion. I love the Jewish people, I love Judaism, and I’m more than proud and honored to be counted among them and if you are converting, it means you do too.
As a Jew, you’ll be taking the weight of antisemitism upon your shoulders, so it’s important in my opinion, that you understand this, accept this, and are prepared to face it.