TheJewish Culture

Knowledge&amp Marginalization

TheJewish culture has faced opposition and marginalization in the pastespecially from the Germans. In fact, from the period 1920s to the1930s, the anti-Semitics intensified their hate towards the Jews andclaimed that they were inferior, evil, dangerous and more likely totorture the other races if they control the world (Voigtländer&amp Voth, 2012).Hence, the Germans created a plan to make them powerless and ensurethat they fail to gain power over the world. More specifically, theGermans even implemented a series of laws that were discriminative tothe Jews, and this includes the racial laws that isolated them andeven excluded them from accessing any public services such as thejudicial system and the health services too (Vollhardt,2013).Jewish actors did not have the chance to perform in the theaterswhile the Jewish authors or even the journalists no longer had theopportunity to publish any work. The Nuremberg Laws of 1935 evenprevented them from accessing citizenship or even a quality educationbecause they could not even enter a university (Vollhardt,2013).Even the marriage between a Jew and non-Jew was prohibited, and theyhad to live a marginalized life instead. The hatred of the Jewsintensified during the Second World War and even led to the Holocaustthat saw the German forces murdering many Jews.

Questfor New Knowledge

Ipicked the Jewish culture because they have been marginalized sincethe EuropeanMiddle Ages where they were considered as evil people. Research onthe Jewish culture will identify specific and insightful informationthat will clarify and erase some of the misconceptions about theculture in general. In fact, the appropriate way to understand themwill be through attending a Bat Mitzvah that will reveal moreinsightful concepts about their religion and lifestyle too. The BatMitzvah is a religious rite of passage that guides a young Jew to asenior phase where she will be able to attend the service andparticipate in the activities that come with the religious mass. Infact, it also ensures that one will understand the Jewish values,teachings, and the Torah wisdom too. In this case, I will seekknowledge on the Jews by attending theBat Mitzvah of Kathryn Jolly Gurwitz where I will interact with thecongregation and understand more values that they have.

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Experienceat the BatMitzvah

Myexperience at the Bat Mitzvah of Kathryn Jolly Gurwitz was reallyenlightening and I saw multiple values that are clearly in contrastto the common misconceptions about the Jewish culture. It was achance to interact with them and identify some of the importantvalues that seem to arise from the activities that they engage in asa community. Kathryn’s Bat Mitzvah was a celebration that broughttogether many members of her family that were ready to congratulateher and show how they will guide her through all the phases of life.In this case, it was a Jewish event, but, the participants had morepeople from various religions that were all her friends. Apart fromthat, I felt like It was quite peaceful and it was more than the riteof passage and the religious significance was immense. I believe thatfrom that point, Kathryn felt like an adult with all theresponsibilities that she was expected to undertake {Appendix A}.Even if I did not understand some of the chants and readings, I feltlike they believed in what they were doing it was a meaningfulcelebration. I felt like I would have the same compassion andintensity while engaging in various things in life.

Insightsfrom the BatMitzvah

Iwas able to gather various specific concepts that were in contrast tothe common misconceptions in the Bat Mitzvah. The specific values ofthe culture were really essential in changing my attitude towards theJewish culture and understanding that they are not what the media andthe society believes. Despite, being marginalized they are peoplethat are free to interact with others and still believe in peace andunity as well (. At times, people that have been tortured andmarginalized like the Jews will have challenges interacting withothers and exhibit anger and contempt towards others. Instead, theyare pretty friendly, and they have nothing evil that aligns with whatthe Germans said about them. In fact, Kathryn was able to welcome herfriends that were Catholic, Muslim, Protestant as well as Baptistjust to assert on their readiness to embrace the cultures thateveryone had. In fact, the service and the readings asserted on beingpeaceful and accepting the differences that others might have. Thelast piece that was the rabbi insisted that people need to changetheir paths and focus on doing good things in the society (Rich,2011).She also showed signs of humility as she was at the pulpit chantingthe various verses and the congregation also joined her in the chant.

Effecton Education

Ibelieve that the experience was really insightful and revealed thatthere is no need to judge other people based on the stereotypes.Education has people from different ethnicities that all have the onepurpose to gain knowledge and education in general. In fact,education will present the need to interact and exchange knowledge aswell. At the moment, a student can end up misjudging another onebased on very common misconceptions that are wrong. Hence, theexperience revealed how I should restrain from misjudging the otherstudents and focus on making sure that I judge them by their actions.Besides that, it was evident that the people might be quite differentfrom the common stereotypes associated with their culture. Forinstance, the Jews are described as being evil and manipulative, andsuch descriptions are what led to the marginalization and theHolocaust. Instead, the experience showed that they were quitedifferent from the previous description. I have learned that everyoneis equal and peaceful as well as friendly too. Apart from that, thestereotypes are often wrong, and one should take enough time tounderstand another person and identify how they are.


Thisexperience was an eye-opening event that illustrated some moreinsights about the Jews. Previously, the marginalization of the Jewsthat was evident since the Second World War has led to somemisconceptions about the Jewish culture that are clearly wrong. Theissue of the Jews being evil, manipulative, and inferior is wrong,and they are friendlier and often preach about peace and beingfriendly as well. In fact, my participation in Katy’s BatMitzvah proved that. They were gathered together as a family andinteracted with everyone and the message in the event was the need toembrace peace.


Rich,T. R. (2011). Bar Mitzvah, Bat Mitzvah and Confirmation. Judaism,101,1996-2001.

Voigtländer,N., &amp Voth, H. J. (2012). Persecution perpetuated: the medievalorigins of anti-Semitic violence in Nazi Germany. QuarterlyJournal of Economics,127(3),1339-1392.

Vollhardt,J. R. (2013). “Crime against humanity” or “crime against Jews”?Acknowledgment in construals of the Holocaust and its importance forintergroup relations. Journalof Social Issues,69(1),144-161.


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