Hey, mainstream Jewish press…lighten up

MSM. C’mon Washingtonians, I know you know what it stands for. And if you don’t, ask the nut job conspiracy theorist rambling on about how Israel was behind 9/11 at your local Metro station.

Mainstream media. Let’s talk about the Jewish mainstream media though, if just for a moment. Because, in many ways, the Jewish establishment acts a lot like that conspiracy theorist. I can sum up their collective writing and reporting over the past few decades as “They’re out to get us!” The Jewish press doesn’t wear its Judaism on its sleeve, it wears it under a tinfoil hat.

And therefore, to them, Judaism is defined by “They.” Nazis. Arabs. A country boy in Mississippi who’s not too fond of bagels. And while, yes, we are the people that invented kvetching…

…we also invented kvelling.

Here’s one thing I’ve learned from my Christian friends — they enjoy being Christian. The Christian press is filled with wonderful reasons to be Christian. They are the Whos down in Who-ville.

And while Anatevka was a rough neighborhood, there’s no need to be Grinches. I’m not going to argue that the Jewish press is wrong. “They” are out to get us. So, what’s new? They’ve been trying for thousands of years. And yet right now we’re eating donuts and trying on new sweaters from Neiman Marcus (I won’t even tell you the deal I got on this thing), and the best they’ve done is change the name of their county so it no longer begins with a-s-s…

Let’s not let “them” define “us.”

So, let them keep trying. But in the meantime, I believe

Because at the end of the day, pogroms and all, it’s a pretty cool club to be in (especially when that club is in modern-day America). You’re related to all those people in the Adam Sandler songs. The food…forget about it. And you’ve been passed down an extremely wise how-to manual to life that’s worked well for thousands of years.

So I feel like a mom at medical school graduation when I see how the Gen Y sons and daughters of Abraham have created ModernTribe. And AskMoses. And Jewlicious. And, dare I say, Gather the Jews.

Sure, there’s talk about “They.” And there always will be. But these Macintosh-wielding Maccabees, these iPad Israelites, these digital Davids are bringing a little more joy to what it means to be Jewish. And the Jewish MSM could learn a lot from that.

Editor’s note: Daniel Burstein is a contributor to Gather the Jews and is the brother of the famous Sheryl Burstein. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

4 replies
  1. Jennie Rivlin Roberts
    Jennie Rivlin Roberts says:

    Talk about kvelling. I’m so touched you recognize the positive Judaism we espouse. Many don’t see past the fact that we are for-profit business selling something. Believe me, I don’t do this for the money, but it is all about creating meaning through Judaism and Jewish living. Thank you for seeing that. — Jennie


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