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The ESP of the
Jewish Way of Life

Roll your mouse over each circle to find the questions. 
Ethics Spirituality Peoplehood
Click on circles for more about Jewish ESP!

I Am Jewish

Daniel Pearl, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal was abducted and murdered by Muslim terrorists in 2002.  His brutal murder was captured on videotape.  In his final moments, Danny declared on the video "My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I am Jewish..."

In tribute to Danny, the book "I am Jewish" (Jewish Lights Publishing.) has been produced with the help of Danny's parents, Judea and Ruth Pearl.  The book contains short essays and statements from many prominent and some not so prominent Jews in response to the theme: I am Jewish.  Excerpts from the book can be seen in our Passover 2004 issue. Click here to see the article. 

 In the words of Daniel Pearl's father, no one will remember the names of the people who murdered Daniel.  Daniel's name will now live forever.

Please help keep his memory alive by submitting your response for others to read to this question:

What does "I am Jewish" mean to me? 
Below are readers responses.  Please add yours!  
Click here.




One cant always come out and say, I am glad to be Jewish when ones heritage was almost obliterated by so called meaningful intelligent people. The Germans nearly killed off all of my ancestors. I was fortunate that my Great Grandfather was clever enough to leave Germany before the Holocaust, but because of those Germans my family suffered just as much when other members of the extended family were killed off who woudl not leave Germany. Because of all the tensions then, my ancestors had to lie to get out fo Germany and even adopted another religion to protect what future we would have. Not all that proud of my Family, but was glad he had the foresight to leave when he did. I shall never forget the stories or the many disguises in names my family took to be alienated from such horrific suffering. But sometimes in the shadows there is just as much more freedom than in saying your Jewish. I am sad that I don't feel free enough sometimes to be that bold, but I am Jewish and my heart is always for my People.
My Heart goes out to any Jew who has lost their life for just being Jewish. My whole being aches for a day and time when all men can be free and tehre is never any differences between all men.
May The Messiah come quickly. Amen.
Shalom, Susana
(posted 7/31/06)

I am proud of being Jewish. We thank Hashem each day for this, for good reason. My ancestors were Jewish and died for it. I can try to live for it.

city: Victoria
state: BC

I am part of a people, I always have a place to belong.  I may not be overly religious, but I owe it to people who died in the Holocaust to become an 'active' or more 'serious' Jew and keep the heritage and spirit alive.

state: GA
country: USA

"I am Jewish" means that affirm my faith in my God, the god of
my forefathers and mothers. To me, being Jewish means to love one another
and to love the Torah and what it stands for.

Clearwater, FL
September 1, 2004

Thank you g-d, for making me a jew, i am truly grateful for
being part of such a special nation

Name Unknown
South Africa
Tuesday, August 10, 2004

To me, being Jewish means being a person who struggles. It means that I struggle to make the world a better place, I struggle to learn who I really am with each new day, and it means that I struggle with G-d. That is what Israel means;  one who wrestles with G-d . It means that it is okay to not be sure of things, but to have a pretty good idea that may continuously be changing. Being Jewish also means that I am a part of something that is bigger than me. The Jewish people was here before me, and will certainly be here after I am gone. Saying the Shema or lighting the Shabbat candles, those are things that link me to generations past and future. Knowing that I am a part of something that outlasts the bounds of a human life is amazing. The Jewish community is my home; most of my friends and acquaintances share my culture with me. It is a place that welcomes me with open arms, hearts, and minds. Being Jewish, most of all, means being someone who is always moving forward, always striving to be a better person and a better partner with G-d, to see the others as G-d sees them. Nothing means more to me than my faith, and my faith is Judaism.

Baton Rouge, LA
Thursday, July 22, 2004



Friday, July 2, 2004

"I Am Jewish" means that I am part of a long and distinguished people that have given so much to the world in ethics, morality, learning, the ability to outlast so much hostility thru the ages. Even tho my contributions have minimal, I am proud to be part of a people who have contributed so much to the betterment of mankind. 

Keizer, OR - Friday, July 2, 2004

Saying that I am Jewish is like saying that I am alive. It is a part of me that can never be taken away from me. Even if I were to convert(which I never would) there would always be that part of me which felt Jewish. Saying that I am Jewish is like saying that I am and American Citizen. It keeps me feeling safe, protected, and secure even during the worst of times. I know that Judaism is and always will be my and life.
anonymous <anonymous>
anonymous, USA - Thursday, May 06, 2004 at 16:58:43 (CDT)

It is important to live in the jewish community and do as much as you think neccessary to be a good person.
Jimmy Barnett 
NJ USA - Thursday, May 06, 2004 at 16:58:26 (CDT)

Being Jewish, to me means that I am protected by the love of the surrounding Jews in the world. After all of the awful events we Jews have been through, the result was having Jews scattered all over the world. So where ever I am... I feel safe knowing that I'm not the only one there.
Debby Brodsky 
Princeton Junction, NJ USA - Thursday, May 06, 2004 at 16:57:23 (CDT)

yeah jews!!!!!!!
your name appears to be blank
USA - Thursday, May 06, 2004 at 16:48:43 (CDT)

Being jewish is a big part of my life. Everyone knows that i am jewish because i am proud of it. I plan to grow up and marry a person that is jewish so we could have a jewish family. I wish that there were more jews in the world. I think that all jewish people should reise their kids jewish because it is not just a religion to me and i hope that all other jewish people feel the same way that i do. I do not think that being jewish makes me different then other people and none of my friends or people i know treay me differently.
sdsten ty 
rt6wtiuwr5yt, gg USA - Thursday, May 06, 2004 at 16:46:01 (CDT)

To me, being jewish makes me who i am. it creates my furture and will always be with my past.
Nicholas Capernicus 
USA - Thursday, May 06, 2004 at 16:45:05 (CDT)

Being jewish means a lot to me. It determines my whole identity and I am truly proud of it. :-D
Leonardo Lattle
Princeton, NJ USA - Thursday, May 06, 2004 at 16:44:06 (CDT)

i am jewish because i choose to be. i choose to have my bat mitzvah and to carry out jewish holiday traditions. i choose to be jewish for all the people in the holocaust who died just like Mr. Pearl did. i am jewish in their honor and because it meant so much to them that they were willing to die for it. it makes me feel so proud to be jewish when i hear stories about jewish people that have died because they were proud to be jewish. i am jewish because some of my family have been killed for being jewish, and i am jewish for them, for me, and for all the people in the holocaust who died and are not reconized for it. i am proud to be a jew.
pennington, nj USA - Thursday, May 06, 2004 at 16:43:09 (CDT)

Being jewish means to me, that i am surround by a bundle of people who love everybody, nd that you have pride in your religion. Being jewish also means, that i always have some one to talk to, or to help you,. Being jewish is something that you should honor and be very proud of.
Princeton, NJ USA - Thursday, May 06, 2004 at 16:28:40 (CDT)

Being jewish means much to me. My life revolves arounding being jewish.I love being jewish!!
princeton, NJ USA - Thursday, May 06, 2004 at 16:27:29 (CDT)

Being Jewish means that I am surrounded by a Jewish community filled with strong, loving people who strive to make everyone in the community, and everyone else for that matter, happy and loved.
Zachary Kleinbart
Princeton, NJ USA - Thursday, May 06, 2004 at 16:26:45 (CDT)

being Jewish is how I live my life. It is the way I make my decisions and the way I think.
USA - Thursday, May 06, 2004 at 16:21:51 (CDT)

Being Jewish means being part of a community that respects people's rights and fights for peace.
New York City, NY USA - Thursday, May 06, 2004 at 16:18:05 (CDT)

Being born and raised in the former Soviet Union, I always knew that I was Jewish. It meant that I was different - mainly, ethnically. It wasn't about religion because, truthfully, no religion was officially allowed, and Judaism was outcast all together. Living in a big city, the only Jewish Holiday I knew about was Passover which we sometimes celebrated at my Great Uncle's home in a very different, from what I now know as a traditional Seder, way (but, yes, we had Matza). Thinking back, I guess that that "damn jewish holiday" my neihbors would complain about was Hanukkah - it'd be very windy and cold in my hometown by that time of the year... Anyway, as I grew older and learned that being Jewish is supposed to be about religion rather than your origin, the question became more like "Why am I Jewish?" I don't know much about Judaism anyway... It's so much easier not to be Jewish... The answer came vey clear to me - it's about memory of those who died because they were Jewish. I cannot betray the memory of my Grandma's elderly parents who were brutally killed only because the were Jews. And today I am Jewish because I will not betray Daniel Pearl's memory.
USA - Tuesday, April 13, 2004 at 12:46:47 (CDT)

I am Jewish because I can be no other. Having explored other faiths and philosophies, sometimes I wish I could believe what they believe. I wish, from time to time that I could believe in a savior who died for me and by believing in whom I could be assured of being saved, but I can't. Judaism has imbued in me an ethic of personal responsibility and a commitment to Torah, Avodah, and G'milut Hasadim in this world and this time, and I can't find any other view nearly as challenging or as satisfying. And I am a Jew because I am ethically bound to honor the life of those who, like Daniel Pearl, have died al-kiddush ha-Shem, and whose last words were "I am Jewish."
Edward M. Gurowitz 
Incline Village, NV USA - Monday, April 12, 2004 at 10:14:15 (CDT)

I am Jewish.I am Jewish simply because I was born of a Jewish mother. I am Jewish because I was raised to observe the Jewish holidays. And I am Jewish because I chose to actively participate in my religion when we adopted our son. I am Jewish because of all that I learned in his nursery school. I am Jewish because it was then that the joys of Judaism became real. I am Jewish because of of all that I learned as my parents grew older, became ill, and ultimately died. I am Jewish because it was then that I learned of the comfort and compassion that Judaism brought into their lives, and my own. I am Jewish by birth, and I am Jewish by choice. And I am very proud to be a Jew.
Debbie Archer 
Melville, NY USA - Saturday, April 10, 2004 at 08:02:03 (CDT)

I am Jewish? I might start by saying I am not very observant,but saying that still does not diminish my feelings of belonging to something much greater than the sum of its parts. One of my two children has a middle name of a gentle-man who taught me about Judaism on a day to day basis. He took me in as one would a grandson. My mother in law(may she rest in peace), was the prime example of a good/loving mother,my wife is the same. To me all this ties into my being Jewish,as I am a Jew by choice. A choice I made after much,much soul searching. I personally feel Hashem has allowed me to find this "place" in the sceme of things.and each night when I take off my Magon David I thank Him for allowing me to be a Jew.
Ruvain ben Avraham
Lancaster, PA USA - Friday, April 09, 2004 at 09:27:43 (CDT)

I Am Jewish is a part of who I totally am; it is one part of me, a cherished part of me, a gift passed to me by my mother and father, shared with extended family at holiday time. I never gave it much thought while I was growing up but during the years of my searching for answers in life I realized that I had no doubt, I would always be Jewish, initially by birth and upbringing and ultimately by choice because of love and pride of our people, our history, our culture. I love knowing that no matter where I go in this world, if there is a synagogue there, that they will all be on "the same page" reading the torah portion for the time and I love that consistent thread throught the religious aspect. I am also grateful to have a son to whom I have passed the gifts and teachings of Judaism to. I am Jewish also means that I find my own ways to be observant and I love light the Shabbat candles on Friday night and cooking the meals and inviting family and friends to holiday gatherings. It warms my heart.
Lynn Dils 
USA - Thursday, March 25, 2004 at 09:34:15 (CST)



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