By Rivka Perlman

April 24, 2012

Video:Jew in the City!

There’s a good chance you saw these awesome videos before. I love them. Even more than the videos, I respect the woman behind them. Just one girl, noticing that there was something to do and stepping up to plate.

People really want to know what it means to be Jewish. Don’t let the media be the ones to tell them. Let’s tell them ourselves. Through our actions and through explanations. People are curious. And YOU are an ambassador.

And if being Jewish comes with stereotypes, how much more so, being a Torah Jew. It can look totally baffling. Keeping the Torah means we run on an entire different set of values then the mainstream. And wow, can that look weird!

Dressing a certain way, eating certain foods, having large families and a calling it a holiday when we eat matzoh!

When I get dressed for a wedding, together with my tichel, I put on a splash of confidence and purpose. I know that not everyone there will be Jewish or religious.

Do¬†you know how out of place¬†that feels? Everyone knows whats going on, and the guest is politely wondering things like “what now?” after the chuppa ceremony.

So I introduce myself, “Hi, I’m Rivka Malka, how would you like a little tour (of the proceedings)? Or simply, “Hi, I’m the welcoming committee!

Wearing a tichel, I’m¬† called to this mission. It’s like I’m screaming. “I’m VERY Jewish!”

The truth is, you may not be comfortable doing that. In that case, don’t worry. Just introduce yourself.¬†Simply by engaging someone new, Jewish or non Jewish in conversation (even without explanations) you’ve already broke through 600 stereotypes and fears.

And you¬†know what the greatest ¬†secret fear is? The fear that we think they’re not good enough. That we look down on them.

Ironic, no? Because, for so many observant women the fear is the same. “They look down on me. I look stupid to them.”

Hey, maybe we all suffer from a little insecurity!

At the beginning of our daily prayers we say “G-d, open up my lips, so my mouth can tell your Praises.”

R Yitzcha¬†Kirzner¬†z’l, teaches something so critical. He says that it’s only when we open up our mouths, when we communicate, that we can begin to tell Your praises; ¬†begin to see the good in the other person.

So we’ve got to stop being so scared, open up a little. See that the woman standing near you is your sister. That we’re all children of One G-d and that we possess a holy soul. All of us.

Great job, Jew in the City!

I bet you’ll check out more of her videos on youtube!

Have fun!

 

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