Reviews are hard to come by. That may be the understatement of the year. (See my video on the topic here.) With that said, every once in a while, a reader comes along and blows me away with invaluable feedback. My latest book, Half-Jew: Searching for Identity, has struck a nerve with my fellow Half-Jews, which was, I must admit, one of the main objectives. It can be confusing growing up in an interfaith family, especially when one parent is Jewish, and there is an inherent spiritual connection to Israel and the Jewish people. I want Half-Jews to know they are not alone, and this particular reader connected with the book and posted a five-star review which really touched me.
Take a look:
“A Book that Every Jew Should Read”
It’s difficult to put into words how much I appreciate this book. I am also a half-Jew, having a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother. In describing her life growing up, Ms. Miller brought back many memories of my own that I experienced while growing up. I was especially reminded of some episodes with anti-Semitism, which included anti-Semitism from my mother’s side of the family. I remember being asked numerous times during Christmas seasons, by my relatives on my mother’s side, why we Jews killed Jesus. This wasn’t so much a question as an accusation — how depraved can you be to have killed Jesus? One Christmas I answered with Lenny Bruce’s joke — because Jesus wouldn’t become a doctor. After that, I stopped being asked why I was a Christ-killer. Thus, I discovered why there are so many Jewish comedians. It’s a great way to deal with anti-Semitism. I’m not sure many Jews realize that we half-Jews face all of the anti-Semitism any Jew faces, and often more — as it’s not uncommon for one’s non-Jewish relatives to be anti-Semites.
As Ms. Miller points out, there is no justifiable reason why we half-Jews are not accepted as Jews. Nothing in Judaism, Jewish history, or modern-day genetics supports excluding us from the tribe. Like Ms. Miller, I always identified as a Jew, even as a child, and shall continue to identify myself as a Jew until the day I die. Unlike some so-called Jews, like Noam Chomsky, as one example, I support Jews and Israel and would never dream of siding with anti-Semites, especially Holocaust-deniers, as Chomsky has done. Yet, Jews consider Chomsky to be a Jew, while they exclude people who support Jews and Israel simply for having the “wrong” Jewish parent. It makes no sense whatsoever for Jews to accept Chomsky as a Jew while excluding us half-Jews who are proud to call ourselves Jews.
I never could have written a book like this. I have too much anger over the injustice of being excluded as a Jew for no sensible reason. Ms. Miller has not written an angry book about this issue at all, but an insightful one instead. Hopefully, this book will open some minds within the Jewish community so that they will be more accepting of their half-Jewish cousins. In a world where the Jewish population is shrinking, it makes no sense to exclude us.
In my opinion, Ms. Miller is a real hero for having written such a charming book regarding this subject that has affected so many of us. I am proud to call her a fellow Jew and am thankful that she has used her voice to point out the injustice that we half-Jews face by being excluded from our own cultural heritage.
I’d like to thank the reader responsible for these kind words. 🙂
See the review on Amazon here.
My videos on the topic:
D.M. Miller is the author of the interfaith “Heart” series as well as the poetry collection, Dandelion Fuzz and the memoir, Half-Jew: Searching for Identity. The product of an interfaith marriage herself, Miller’s work explores the difficult themes of religion, politics, ethnicity, culture, family, ancestry and love. See her books on Amazon.