I’m not entirely sure, but I think my sympathy for Jews and Judaism started because I found out they were this group of people who’d been collectively picked on and pushed out for thousands of years. As a kid who’d been relentlessly bullied, who was also “different” (because of the cerebral palsy), I guess it sort of made me feel like there was a whole group of people out there who not only would understand how I felt, but had it worse. That’s kind of powerful when you’re a stranded kid in the rural suburbs.

Imagine how I felt when I discovered that the Nazis got good at killing Jews by killing people like me.

Not to mention that anti-disabled hate crimes are actually a thing that exists in the world.

Then as I learnt more about Judaism, I found out that many of the things Jews believe are also things I’ve always believed, or believed for a long time, only sweetened the deal as far as I’m concerned.  To name a few — tikkun olam, ba’al tashchit, valuing right action, and of course, Hillel’s principle that he expressed roughly as “That which is hateful to yourself, do not do to others.”  (I prefer this formulation better than “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” because it requires you to take better stock of what <i>you</i> find hateful to yourself, and puts more onus on your behaviour, and also leaves less of an out for vengeance — “Well, he did it unto me first!”  It’s also older, so it has seniority. ^_^ )




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