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comment by ThatFanficGuy

Why "Jewish person" and not "Jew"? Is there some negative attitude associated with the latter? He has made clear that he's "a believing Jew", and that made me wonder.





mivasairski  ·  2124 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Funny! I did not write that headline! I am totally comfortable writing, "As a Jew, . . . " The headline editor of Dawn came up with that language, perhaps because of some kind of sensitivity in Pakistan.

ThatFanficGuy  ·  2124 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thanks for clarifying. Do you describe yourself as "a Jew" in real life as well, given proper context? Do you feel any negative connotation associated with the word/definition as you speak?

mivasairski  ·  2124 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Wow, interesting question. For sure. And, actually, it is one that I have thought about, albeit decades ago, not recently.

There ARE negative connotations to the word "Jew". There are echoes and ghosts of lingering anti-semitism. Some elements in the larger society attaches negative judgment to being a Jew, which for them is the "other". That has had terrible consequences, as you must know. And, honestly, I don't think that is entirely over yet.

Nonetheless, I am a Jew. If anyone has a problem with that, it's their problem -- not mine. If some parts of society put some negativity onto that identity, me using some other form of labeling is certainly not going to solve that problem. One way to counter that negativity is to apologetically claim the identity.

When I grew up -- and even today -- there were organizations called things like the Young Mens Hebrew Association and the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, instead of the Young Mens Jewish Association and the Baltimore Jewish Congregation. I think that choice of public naming was a defensive measure by Jews who found themselves needing to negotiate life in a society dominated by a culture which imposed negative judgments on Jews. Possibly they thought that Hebrew had fewer negative connotations than "Jewish".

Anyway, Fan, that's a good question. Thank you. I hope my reply offers you some understanding of my own personal perspective.

ThatFanficGuy  ·  2123 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thank you for elaborating. As a person in no association with the Jewish life, I have barely any idea what it's like to be a Jew, especially given that most of my context comes from people on less that favourable terms with the "lil' Jews" (that's the best I can translate the dimunitive Russian term "еврейчик", used often by my mother).

While I did get a glimpse of your perspective, I am, nonetheless, hungry to know more. I'm interested in what it's like to be a person of the community as oppressed, subtly but strongly, as Jewish. I hope it's okay if I ask further questions like this in the future.

mivasairski  ·  2123 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That's great, Fanfic. I love questions. I have many myself. I would thoroughly enjoy being honored by you sharing your questions with me.

kantos  ·  2125 days ago  ·  link  ·  

In my opinion, writing it out lends a bit more formality to it. Also, Jew on it's own (again, just me) has been an easy, short jab of an insult for millennia.

ThatFanficGuy  ·  2125 days ago  ·  link  ·  

"As a Russian person, I can say that we don't have such a difference in our language, so it's new to me".

Compare:

"As a Russian, I can say that we don't have such a difference in our language, so it's new to me".

It's true: that adds formality to it.

To be frank, it's possible to translate "Ecksian person" into Russian proper: "человек иксовой крови" or "человек иксового происхождения", but it sounds more anthropological.

kantos  ·  2125 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Perhaps my phrasing was wrong, then. The way it was structured in my brain was how Jew has become an insult or pointed quip over millennia; thus, writing the long form of identification makes this more personable. The two points aren't mutually exclusive. The statement is who he is, and being very clear as to not mix in the stigma of what a "Jew" is.

ThatFanficGuy  ·  2125 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You were clear from the beginning. I failed to recognize how "Jew" can be used (and has been by many) as derogative term in my comment. I understand what you're saying and didn't mean to be contrary or evasive.

kantos  ·  2124 days ago  ·  link  ·  

We're on the same page, then. :)

lil  ·  2125 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Maybe because he identifies as a person, not just an ethnicity. Are you Russian, or a Russian person?

ThatFanficGuy  ·  2125 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Over my Hubski presence I've always called myself "a Russian" - that is, a member of the Russian national community, born into and by blood. It doesn't make me less of a person or more diluted into the national stereotype, as many of the hubskiers will agree.

I mean no offence to the author; oppressed communities - Jews, blacks, hispanics - seem to be the only ones to used that construction, and I find it weird that they even have to.