a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

A Comment on Commenting

Posted on: February 24, 2012

I enjoy having “hard” conversations in my professional life as well as my personal life.  I like having “hard” conversations on my blog as well because I know that people’s experiences are as varied as the individuals who write in.  When a group of individuals come together, whether that be online or in person, it’s only natural that there will be  varying opinions.  I relish these conversations because I often find that once the dust has settled and all parties have been heard, I walk away having learned something or thought about something from a point of view I may not have if I didn’t engage in the conversation.

I never claim to be an expert on Judaism, race relations, Jewish community, or sexual-orientation.  I use my blog as a sounding board for my experience and the experiences of people that I encounter in the hopes of opening up conversations and using those conversations to educate the broader community about the experiences of being a brown-bodied black, lesbian Jewish woman.  My hope is that reading this blog and the contents within allows people to stretch their ideas of what it means to be Jewish.  I hope that it helps people to “see” Jews as something other than what is familiar.  This could mean a black Jew of Ethiopian descent seeing a white-bodied Ashkenazi Jew in a different way.  This could mean a “normal” Jewish family seeing a single-parent or same-sex Jewish family in a new way.  Mostly I’ve found through writing this blog and sharing my experiences is that Jews have more in common than we may realize.  I like to break down barriers and open the doorway to conversations that will lead to building bridges between Jews and the broader community.

It’s particularly upsetting to have my little piece of blog paradise tainted by comments for the sake of argument.  I just tried to send the e-mail below a person who continues to comment on my blog in an abusive and unconstructive way, but it seems that the e-mail being used to comment isn’t real.   You may have noticed that the moderation settings on the blog have been changed so that every comment needs to be approved.  It’s annoying and I appreciate your patience, but it’s obviously necessary.  The last comment the person tried to post on the Guest Post about Oprah’s Hasidic Special was this: “Looks like someone is avoiding the truth…”

What truth?  Your truth?  I don’t need to know your truth to validate my truth or the truth of my guest bloggers.  I respectfully decline your comments and wish you well.  Feel free to stay if you can contribute to creating an open, honest community of Jews and non-Jews with the hopes of making the Jewish community inclusive to all types of Jewish truths.  If you cannot do that, please find another site to comment on.

 

Hi There,

I happily welcome comments on my blog that are constructive, honest, and add to the overall conversation of the blog.  Your comments on the Guest Post do not fit into any of those categories, which is why they won’t be approved.  I cannot have you invalidating this author’s experience as a brown-bodied, black Orthodox Jewish woman.  I cannot know what her truth is, but am grateful to her for sharing her narrative with my blogging community. Having you comment in a way that tries takes away or discredit her truth would be unnecessary and would not add any value to a conversation.

She is a black Orthodox Jew who has a close network of black Orthodox Jewish friends and family who have lived in the Hasidic Brooklyn Community for generations.  I’ve heard personal stories and accounts of parents begging school administration to admit their children who had be denied access to necessary Jewish education simply because of the color of their skin.

I assume you are a not a brown-bodied person and therefore I find it out of line for you to assert your “truths” over this person’s truth.

You are welcome to continue to comment on my blog, but I will not allow comments simply for the sake of argument.

Best,
Erika

2 Responses to "A Comment on Commenting"

I really appreciate the work you put in to making this blog a safe space to explore and interact with new ideas. I’m sorry that some closed minded people make that difficult for you.

Thanks Sarah. I think conversations that are difficult are great conversations to have, but this goes a little too far for me and this point it’s disrespectful.

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