Motzei Shabbos, we were driving around running errands while I talked to my endlessly patient husband about how, as observant American Jews, we don't even realize how much of our environment we censor out. Think of it: restaurants we can't eat in, clothes we can't buy or wear, holidays we don't celebrate, recipes we can't make, magazines we subscribe to whose content becomes irrelevant to us several times a year, fast food we can’t eat, month-long Christmas music festivals on radio stations we no longer feel comfortable listening to, etc. etc.
We are so used to automatically censoring our environment that we don’t even realize we do it.
Right now, there is a very popular YouTube music video called Chinese Food on Christmas, which bemoans the that fact that, for American Jews, there’s not much to do on Christmas day except eat Chinese food and go to see a movie.
It’s not a joke. We really do live in a Christian country.
Many of us like to see America as a place of liberty for all people. New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind recently called on the US government to grant refugee status to European Jews who are victims of increasing acts of anti-Semitism.
Dov Hikind is an Orthodox Jew who wants America to absorb European Jews running from skyrocketing anti-Semitism in Europe.
Not in 1937.
If it weren't so scary that Hikind, an Orthodox Jew, doesn't see the irony of what he's proposing at this time in Jewish history, I would assume it was a joke.
Sadly, it's not a joke.