- 2 months ago
cassandra7 : Relax, hon. I come from a Jewish family, so it would be pretty crazy if I was actually anti-Semitic. The reason I’m so familiar with these stereotypes is because my own family likes to proudly declare how accurate they are. Of course it’s not always accurate, it’s a stereotype. You don’t have to tell me that there are plenty of Jewish parents who don’t have the stereotypical traits (pushy, overbearing, passive aggressive, judgmental, etc).
I didn’t invent the stereotype, and I certainly don’t believe it applies to everyone with a certain lineage, but sometimes you encounter people who embrace the stereotype so completely that it’s almost laughable. Those are usually the people who use the stereotype to justify their behavior (e.g., “Of course I’m being pushy, I’m a Jewish mother”). Family culture plays a big role in this. People from supportive families tend to be supportive. People from passive aggressive families tend to be passive aggressive. If you were raised in a family where triangulation and emotional manipulation were the norm, you’re likely to use those approaches with your own kids. Thus, certain traits and behaviors become acceptable in certain cultures.
The mold is broken when individuals develop some self-awareness and realize that “normal” behavior in their family might actually be toxic in the real world. Those people are less likely to display the stereotypical traits of the larger culture, which is why stereotypes are often inaccurate. But then there are people who embrace the culture that their great-grandparents were raised in, and all of those cultural traits have been passed down for generations with no variation, because no one in their family ever questioned it. And so the stereotypical behavior lives on, in SOME people.
And traditional Jewish teachings actually do say that marrying “outside the faith” is bad, and if there is an interfaith marriage, every effort should be made to raise the kids Jewish. So if you have a Jewish family who doesn’t believe that, it’s because they rejected that aspect of Jewish teaching. They chose not to embrace that part of Jewish culture (probably because they recognized it as narrow-minded and condescending). Being supportive and accepting of interfaith marriages is great, but it goes against traditional Jewish teachings. You’re lucky that your family decided they’d rather be supportive than traditional. But there’s no denying that traditional Jewish culture has historically frowned upon mixed families.
That said, I apologize if you found my blunt, ironic comments to be offensive. I was operating under the assumption that it’s generally acceptable to complain about your own culture.