Most Jews Hate the Idea of Jewish Unity
Many have built their lives around a denominational following that best speaks to their ideology and
beliefs. This includes adopting ideological and theological ides that can be opposite of what other Jews
practice. Many have worked hard at creating a life that fits with your ideas, attitudes and opinions of
what ought to be spoken practiced and celebrated, as a Jew. This road includes avoiding specific groups
of Jews when they don’t fit into your life choices and religious beliefs. It is always seen as a better than
them, or different than those Jews. This separation does not invite the idea of unity between Jews. Most
Jews therefore, hate the idea of Jewish unity, because it doesn’t fit neatly into any current paradigm.
Sure, we all agree that we need to have love for a fellow Jew, but often, it is with conditions. I hear
people say “if only that Jewish person did this or that, then we could get along”. “If not for the such-
and-such a group, we could have Jewish unity”, Or “That group always ruins it for everybody”. There are
other numerous issues and stances that you could take issue as well, but it will not ultimately move us
forward as a people and as a nation. When internal strife outweighs the respect and love we should
have for one another, it has to be re-examined.
If you could take the stance that unity comes when each of us realize that we are one and the same and
that we can have differences. But those differences are not the things that should separate us from the
unity we should have with one another. That is ultimately why Jewish unity is a challenge. It is the
challenge for Jewish unity that will help us change our thinking that we can’t practice the way we feel
most compelled to, and still have respect for one another.
As I write this, it is Tisha B’Av, the national day of mourning for the destruction of our people in both
Temples. The second temple was destroyed by Sinat Hinam, baseless hatred. Can we truly say we have
made any headway in this direction? Isn’t it time we start to repair the rift between denominations?
Jewish unity is the idea that Jews can actually treasure and value one another, despite their color,
religious beliefs, and practices. This is done simply because it is important to emphasize the bonds of
commonality that unite us.
Instead of looking outside of ourselves to start this, we need to start by individually challenging
ourselves. We need to re-examine our own biases and perhaps, our exclusionary beliefs about other
Jews, and begin to transform them, into acceptance. Only doing this on an individual basis can we have
a chance of becoming more unified. Isn’t it time we start this process?
The Jewish Unity Challenge is dedicated to reaching between the divide and start getting us to agree on
the things that unite us, not the differences that divide us. Will you accept and start challenging your
To learn more about the Jewish Unity Challenge, we invite you to look at our home page at Herutna.org