Shabbat Nugget: Maintaining Our Jewish Identity

In this week’s Torah portion we learn how the Jews flourished in Egypt. This raised the ire of the Egyptian people who decided that they wanted to get rid of the Jewish nation.

A careful examination of the verses in the Torah tell us that the Egyptians came up with a two track plan to get rid of the Jews; the stick and the carrot.  Every male child born to the Jews would be killed, while they would assimilate the rest of the Jews into the Egyptian culture and thereby cause them to lose their Jewish identity.

However, our Sages teach us that while the Egyptians were successful to assimilate some of the Jews, still many remained strong and refused to abandon their Jewish names and language thereby holding on to their Jewish identity.

In our times, after generation of Jews being persecuted by the stick, we are still in danger of losing our identity, through the carrot.  We must take concrete action to bringing Jewish traditions into our home so we should G-d forbid, not lose our Jewish identity.

About Rabbi Pesach Scheiner

Rabbi Pesach Scheiner is the Rabbi of Boulder County Center for Judaism. In addition, he teaches extensively throughout Boulder County and is the author of "Finding the Joy in Everyday Living," a book of short chapters explaining the ways to access happiness through appreciation, gratitude, and a sense of purpose.

Check Also

The Jewish Experience: A New Brandeis University Website

Introducing Brandeis University's new website, The Jewish Experience, devoted to exploring Jewish history, culture and traditions, all informed by the knowledge and experience of Brandeis faculty, researchers, alumni and students.

Songs of Renewal and Return: Music to Prepare You for The High Holidays with Julie Geller

Join Julie Geller for Songs of Renewal and Return as she uses original music and ancient teachings to masterfully lead you to connect more deeply with where you’ve been and what your dreams are for the coming year.