But there’s another reason Jews prefer “Jewish.” Many of us don’t think of Jew-ness as central to our identity.If what we’re talking about is an ethnic inheritance, but not one that defines us in an important way, we may rightly feel that “Jewish” makes a more modest, weaker claim than “Jew” — just as “I’m German” sounds a bit milder than “I’m a German.” The former is purely descriptive, the latter a bit proud.After reading Oppenheimer’s piece, I tried to understand why “Christian” made me feel so uncomfortable back then.After all, politically speaking, as a Catholic I held the same pro-life views that made me so offensive to certain progressives. Selector .selector_input_interaction .selector_input. Selector .selector_input_interaction .selector_spinner.
She respects his religion and wants to convert in order to be able to marry him under a chuppah. Now, she may start out wanting to convert in order to be with someone.Whether it’s the stain of having murdered Jesus or an inborn capacity for greed or deception, the vices perceived by the anti-Semite belong to “the Jew,” not someone who happens to be Jewish.Anti-Semites have made “Jew” a term of opprobrium, and the rest of us have acquiesced.It was also, I hate to say, a form of intellectual snobbery. It made sense to me back then, in my twenties, but the memory of it embarrasses me today.For a long time, I have been describing myself simply as “Christian,” or “a Christian.” If people want to know more, I tell them I am an Orthodox Christian.It’s precisely because “Jew” is a bit proud that I want Jews to use it more.