Sunday, October 20, 2013
"One day I was in school, in class, explaining my Judaism when one student had the audacity to exclaim 'You're only Jewish because your parents forced you to be. You don't pray to God because you want to.'
'You only pray to God because your parents made you think you have to. You don't keep the laws because of your own free will...your parents just made you feel guilty if you didn't keep them. Your parents brainwashed you your whole life...You don't really know anything about anything.'"
That experience motivated student Ethan Metzger to write a poem about it and read it aloud at a poetry session in the Bronx earlier this year. In the poem, Ethan agreed that his parents did brainwash him. As early as he can remember, his parents brainwashed him to have respect for other people. They contaminated his childhood with lessons about faith and love and character and yes, religion too.
Ethan ended his poem with "You can call it brainwashing if you want. I call it teaching."
The first annual Bronx Youth Poetry Slam took place in the Kingsbridge Library and was organized by the local community board. Ethan didn't win the poetry competition, but his words resonated with many of the attendees. But his real audience was the internet,and the thousands of people who agree with him and are forwarding the video to their friends.
We think it's a worthy message and we join in the distribution of Ethan's message to the world.
(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS: THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY. YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)
(A tip of the kippah to Sheila Zucker for bringing this video to our attention.)