Yasmine on Becoming a Decolonized Judean

The idea of becoming a Decolonized Judean for me is deeply personal, spiritual and also WORK.

First let me preface this piece with the following - being a Decolonized Judean has zero to do with the current state of Israel, nothing to do with Israel/Palestine and doesn’t speak to my relationship with Palestinians who I believe are not only genetic cousins but who I believe we should beside on the land we all love and share history on. It also goes way deeper than knowing and saying “Jews originated in Judea”. That’s the easy part.

So what does becoming a Decolonized Judean mean for me?

It means going back to my roots as a Judean, (NKA as Jew).
It means learning  my true history, pre colonialism,  pre-Holocaust, pre-dhimmis laws, pre-assimilation.

Becoming a Decolonized Judean mean for means Learning more Torah.

It means Learning Hebrew. 

It means connecting with traditions and cultures most tied to other Jews and the historic land of Israel.
It means going back to the roots of Tzedekah and how I can apply that in my life daily (it is our duty to care for our community!). Asking myself how can I exemplify tikkun olam?
BUT being a Decolonized Judean also means unlearning colonial mindsets.
It means combating and tackling xenophobia, antiblackness, and bigotry of ALL kinds that actively harm fellow Jews and non Jews alike.
Being a decolonized Judean, means expanding my understanding, appreciation, respect of my ancestors and fellow Jews while ALSO learning how to cause less harm in this colonial country I reside in. It means true amplification  and support of the Indigenous people of the country I live in a settler (the US).
Our people and land was colonized thousands of years ago, but more recently many in our communities minds have been colonized with upholding systems that we may benefit from and be harmed from simultaneously.
(Like sorry you can’t be decolonized Judean and celebrate thanksgiving).
It means fighting class systems, mass incarceration and the bigotry our LGBTQ friends face.
I mean honestly HOW can you be a decolonized Judean, and be transphobic? It is a literal byproduct of colonialism…
It means fostering more relationships with SWANA  minorities including Palestinians, and strengthing my resolve to learn even when uncomfortable, while living in my truth as well.

It also means standing strong in my identity as a Jew/JUDEAN even when it makes people uncomfortable. Even when they try to silence and erase me.
It means fighting antisemitism on a broad level that not only eradicates those ideologies but also educate others on who we are as a people.
It means being the best example of a Jew I can be the way intended.
How can we decolonize Judiasm or be decolonized Judeans while upholding colonial and violent structures in the diaspora? YOU CAN'T.
It doesn’t mean perfection it means trying my best to honor my ancestors; their language, traditions, beliefs, rituals and caring for those around us.

By: Yasmine

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  • Arnold Holtzman on

    You and your brothers are the proverbial light unto the nations. We are one people.

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