I Know You Mean Well

I Know You Mean Well September 3, 2015

I’m pretty tired of getting comments and messages from people who have just discovered the blog and immediately feel the need to tell me that it’s wrong for me to call myself the White Hindu.

I suspect these people are new because I think that if you spend time with me and read my blog then you understand that this is not just the story of being Hindu, it is also the story of what it’s like to be a Hindu who doesn’t look like anyone expects a Hindu to look. It is about religion and it is also about social acceptance, fitting in, belonging, and the struggles that I experience because I don’t look “right.”

And being open about race is not just about how I experience Hinduism but it’s also about how other Hindus experience me. With the history white people have of stealing native traditions and remaking them or claiming them, I must always be aware of myself as a white person in a religion and way of life that doesn’t “belong” to me and my ancestors. 

I know it’s coming from a good place when people say that Sanatana Dharma is for anyone and everyone, that I don’t need to distinguish myself by my skin color. I’m not a different kind of Hindu because of that.

In theory that’s totally true. But I’m telling you that my experience has not been that at all.

The Gods accept me, I know, regardless of my skin color. Many, many, many native Hindus do as well. I appreciate that very much.

However, there is more to explore in the intersection of Hinduism and race. And I will keep on exploring it. So please stop patting me on the head and telling me I’m talking about my own experiences wrong.

 

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  • Loretto Taylor

    Having been told more than once in online interactions that a gorra (white) can’t understand Sanatan Dharma… yes, there is a racial component to this that needs to be addressed. There are also many Hindus who state that a person cannot convert to Hinduism (never mind that I know several people who seem to have done exactly that) and in order to be a Hindu, you have to have Hindu parents. Never mind that Hinduism spread across the entire subcontinent, up into Afghanistan and across the ocean into Indonesia… for Sanatan Dharma to have spread over that large a geographic area, SOMEBODY had to have had non-Hindu parents… So apparently, you can believe in some variety of Hindu dharma, worship Hindu deities, if dualistic worship is your thing, engage in Hindu spiritual practices, abstain from eating beef… but because of your race, you’re not a Hindu.

    • Hidimbi Hidimbaa

      “…that a person cannot convert to Hinduism”

      Sometimes that phrase itself causes a lot of discomfort and causes dialogue to stop cold, but it’s my perception that for some people, it’s just the word “convert” that’s disputed.

      “Convert” and “conversion” have colonialist connotations for a lot of native born Hindus. It’s like “converting” is an act taken against an unwitting person, to rob him of his previous affiliations and advance one group’s dominance.

      So, sometimes when a native born Hindu hears the word “convert” they immediately want to distance themselves from it, and make clear that Hindus have no part in such behavior.

      But many (not all) will say that while you need not convert you can be a Hindu, by practicing Hinduism. It’s the difference being assimilated by the Borg vs. joining The Federation.

      But, at the same time, you’ll meet some native born Hindus who’ll say “Oh you converted? That’s cool.” and some who’ll say “You can never ever be a Hindu in this birth”.

      Much of it is just semantics, but there are times when labels are necessary. When I’ve got jury duty and the voir dire form asks my religion (and I don’t want to be held in contempt of court for coming off as a smart-ass), I’m just writing “Hindu”, not an in depth description of my religious practices.

    • Ambaa

      I wrote a little bit about what Hidimbi is talking about in this post: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/whitehindu/2015/03/can-i-convert-to-hinduism-google-questions-answered/

      I have also found that this “you can’t convert to Hinduism” has a lot to do with the negative feelings assocatied with the word “conversion” because of Islam and Christianity.

      • Loretto Taylor

        I knew there was no formal process, but I had no idea Indian Hindus were so techy about the word “conversion”, but I can understand why they are given the history of Abrahamic behavior. I really use the word more as a shorthand. After a period of time of worshiping Kali, meditating, and engaging in other Hindu-ish practices, one day I realized that I was just going to have to break down and start identifying as a Hindu.

  • Lokesh

    Christianity spread and became a religion for all 1000s of years ago, hinduism is starting to spread now, it will be some time before Some Hindus understand it. Hope there won’t be any race/ethnicity/language related boundaries to Hinduism in 100 yrs from now:)

  • M Raghavan

    Sadly, there is a great deal of ignorance among Indians when it comes to the faith of their motherland. Hinduism is not a race, it is not even an apt description of religion. The ambiguity associated with this has led some people to conclude that it belongs only to a few.

    The Vedas do not mention religion or race. They saw Wisdom (which is what Veda means) as something which everyone is entitled to. It is only in becoming an -ism that we have forgotten this.

  • Emily.E.N

    I can definitely see both sides of this. I’ve been greeted with open arms by Indians in temples, but I’ve also been told with a little smile that you can only be a Hindu if you were born to Hindu parents, so I get it. I also think there’s a lot of trying to figure out what being a Hindu really means going on though, and the Sanatana Dharma term/marker/movement is an attempt to portray Hinduism as a global religion like Islam, Christianity, etc that is largely based on Advaita. I’m perfectly ok with this portrayal, because it wholeheartedly accepts me as a Hindu and a white American, but the reality is, it’s only one of many ways that people define and experience Hinduism and not the whole story. (Along with being an interesting spiritual path, Hinduism is a fascinating field of studies.)

    • Hidimbi Hidimbaa

      “you can only be a Hindu if you were born to Hindu parents”

      That statement is perfectly true. And, it it’s also untrue as well. Because there are multiple definitions for the word “Hindu”.

      Just like a long necked bird that hangs out in the water is a crane. And, it’s also not a crane…because it’s not a piece of construction equipment. And one definition isn’t right nor wrong.

      For some people the definition of the word “Hindu” includes “Indian”, so by that definition, “you are not Hindu” is correct. We do not fit that particular definition of Hindu. There is no disputing that.

      For some people(including many Indian Hindus) the definition is “One who worships Hindu Gods”, and by that definition “You are Hindu” is indisputably correct.

      I’ve found that one group that very readily defines me as “Hindu” is Indian Christians. Maybe because they’re used to people misjudging their religious practice based on their ethnicity (and because, as Christians, it’s obvious to them that I’m not one).

      I think there are few, if any, Desi Hindus who would discourage you from praying to Hindu Gods. The dispute is a matter of semantics.

      Sometimes just saying “I practice Sanatana Dharma” or “I’m a devotee of [Deity]” or “I do puja every day, and got to temple on the weekends” works just fine and is something everyone can agree on. I think it’s important to place more emphasis on what a person does rather than what a person is, anyhow.

      But some cases require a more succinct label. Some countries require you to disclose your religion on your visa application, for example.

      And when I travel through The Gulf, I carry my Shuddhi Karma certificate, from Arya Samaj, because non-Hindus are not suppose to transport Hindu religious artifacts, and they can be confiscated at the air port otherwise.

      Maybe we are meant to learn a lesson about not being too attached to labels. I do think when it comes to matters of semantics, context and pragmatism may take precedence over consistency.

      So no, we white devotees are not Hindu. And also, yes, we are. And that’s alright, I think.

      • Gangadas

        Arya Samaj follows Impersonalist/Mayavada philosophy.They do not believe that God is ‘sat,chit ananda vigraha’,that is,His form is made of eternality,knowledge and bliss.They do not worship Sri Krsna therefore they are misguided.

        • Hidimbi Hidimbaa

          Namaste Gangadas,

          Thank you for your input. The pujaris at Arya Samaj practice with faith and devotion. They have valuable knowledge and guidance to offer to many, even if it isn’t compatible with where you are on your current path. I have no ill to speak of them.

          “Those who worship other gods with faith and devotion also worship me, Arjuna, even if they do not observe the usual forms. I am the object of all worship, its enjoyer and Lord.” -Shri Krishna

          • Gangadas

            Namaskar Hidimbaa,
            Truth must be told.What Sri Krsna states in the Gita is the Absolute Truth.Faith and devotion alone is not important unless it is applied to Krsna.The shloke that you mention (Bhag.Gita 9.23) actually supports my argument.In the very next verse Krsna says’ I am the only enjoyer and the only object of sacrifice.Those who do not recognize My true transendental nature fall down’.He had already stated in 7.23,’Men of small intelligence worship the demigods,and their fruits are limited and temporary.Those who worship the demigods go to the planets of the demigods but My devotees reach My Supreme abode’.He finally shatters all controversies by stating in 18.66 ‘Abandon all varieties of religion and simply surrender to Me.I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions.Do not fear.Do not have any doubts’.
            Even if you read Lord Shiva opinion,He repeatedly states to worship Krsna and Krsna alone.As Shankaracharya he bluntly stated’ O you fools and rascals, simply chant the name of Govinda,chant the name of Govnda,chant the name of Govinda.At the time of death all your grammatical gymnastics to disprove the existence of Govinda will not protect you’.

          • Hidimbi Hidimbaa

            Namaskaram Gangadas,

            Thank you very sincerely for your concern. Regardless of whether my path is longer, shorter, or the same length as yours, we’re both going to attain liberation when we’re meant to.

            I can respect that you are doing your best to follow your Dharma, in accordance with your understanding as a Guadiya Vaishnava.

            I cannot engage any further in a discussion that can result in the slander of my former teachers, to whom I am grateful and indebted.

          • Gangadas

            Liberation is not automatic.Had it been automatic then what was the need for Krsna to compile the Vedic literature?Vaishnavism is not ‘My Dharma’ nor is it ‘my understanding’.Vaishnavism is the Dharma of every spirit soul.I am simply putting forward the philosophy of Sri Chaitanya.Regarding the qualification of teachers Sri Chaitanya said ‘a person may be a sannyasi,learned man,or a sudra, it does not matter as long as he is expert in the science of Krsna’.If the philosophy of Vaishnavism ‘slanders’ your ‘teachers’ then maybe you have reposed your faith erroneously.

          • Throwaway

            Perhaps his former teachers were Vaishnavas, and his views have changed and he refuses to say anything more out of respect for those teachers.

          • Loretto Taylor

            Actually, Lord Shiva seems to be of the opinion that we should worship the Mahadevi. I actually have a print out of the Chandika Stuti that has Maheshwara’s personal endorsement as the last sloka.

        • Ambaa

          Sri Krishna is not the only path. Thank the Gods there are multiple ways to get to Truth within Hinduism. Requiring exclusivity of one path, one God, one way is what makes the Abrahamic faiths a failure to me.

          • Gangadas

            Sri Krsna says ‘sarva dharman paritajya mam ekam saranam braja’…(Bhag.Gita18.66),that is ,’Abandon all varieties of religion and simply surrender unto Me’.So her God is telling you that there is no other way except Him!

          • Tamara Amrita Powers

            I think some People are forgetting that Shri Krishna is an Avatara of Lord Vishnu?

          • Ambaa

            Certain people think that Vishnu is a manifestation of Krishna. Some people obsess over Krishna being above everything else and if you dare have another name for the Supreme God they will accuse you of heresy. It’s very sad if you ask me.

          • Gangadas

            Krsna is the origin of Vishnu.This is stated in the Bhag.Gita 10.8.Krsna is not the only name He has many others like,Kesav,Madhav,Giridhari,Mukunda,Gopal,Hari,Shyamsunder,Govinda etc etc.

        • Shesh

          Before commenting on Arya Samaj, please go through their literature carefully and comment !

          • Gangadas

            I have gone through their Impersonalistic philosophy very carefully.They follow a blasphemous philosophy.Kindly put forward your argument in support of Arya Samaj.Saying things to simply soothe your sentiments is not the goal of truth.

          • Shesh

            Please can you cite the books which you have gone through.

          • Gangadas

            The books are called the Vedic literature,particularly the ‘Bhagvat Gita,as it is’.This one book is the extract of the entire Vedic literature.Read the edition by Srila Prabhupada,because he comes in the line of disciplic succession.

          • Throwaway

            This man who wrote “Bhagavad Gita as it is” is the same man who said women have a brain half the size of a man, and have not achieved anything great ever. He is the same man who mused that Vaishnavas should kill people who do not like Krishna. And you trust his translation.

          • Ambaa

            That book claims to have no bias which is completely ridiculous. Every translator adds bias. It can’t be helped. His interpretation of the Gita is very skewed and cannot be considered accurate.

          • Gangadas

            If EVERY interpretation is ‘biased’ then why this charade as ‘seeker of the truth?!! Truth is simple for the simpleminded and crooked for the twisted.

          • Throwaway

            Sorry, man. The only way to identify bias is to actually seek truth. Otherwise if you blindly believe something is unbiased you are actually not a seeker but a sheep. The world is also very simple for a sheep, but it also eats only what’s in front of it, not caring about the quality very much.

          • Throwaway

            Gangadas ji, there is no concept of “blasphemy” in Hinduism in any way. All paths lead to God.
            However, even if you take the argument about Krishna being the only way, what happened to all the people who never knew about Krishna? What about the aborigines, eskimos, cannibals in the jungles, Aztecs, Zulus, native americans, all the tribes who never even heard of Krishna? How were they ever to be saved? If we take the view that only Krishna is the way then that path ends up being the same as Christianity and Islam, with each of them also saying that they are the only way, with the same holes in reasoning.

          • Gangadas

            In the Mayavada/Impersonalist philosophy the practitioner believes that he is God!!,this makes it is a blasphemous philosophy.Sripada Shankaracharya( Lord Shiva) who promulgated this philosophy has stated himself that it is ‘asat’ philosophy.’mayavadam asac-chastram pracchannah baudham ucyate mayaiva kalpitam devi kalau brahmana-rupina’
            O Goddess, in Kaliyuga I shall descend in the form of a brahmana to spread this illusory Mayavada philosophy which is actually covered Buddhism. (Padma Purana).

            All paths do not lead to God.Krishna specifically demolishes this Mayavada philosophy when He says’Sarva dharman paritajya mam ekam saranam brag…..'(Bhag.Gita 18.66). ‘Abandon all varieties of religion,philosophies,mental speculations etc and simply surrender to ME.I shall burn up all your sinful reactions.Do not have any doubts about it’.

            The place and family of birth is a karmic reaction.Depending on our previous life’s karma, we achieve birth in the family of a Vaishnav in Vrindavan or in the family of an obscure African tribe in the Congo Basin.The Vedic literature provides information for a step by step elevation of the level of consciousness of every individual till it finally comes up to the level of Krsna consciousness.This process takes many many lifetimes.Therefore out of His causeless mercy Sri Krsna,as Sri Chaitanya, said ‘If you take birth in India,learn about Krsna and spread HIs name in every town and village of this world’.Krsna is Absolute Truth.There is therefore no difference between Him and His name,and chanting His name is the quickest way to realise Him.This process bypasses all the results of karmic reaction,because it is the topmost yoga process called BhaktiYoga.This is the verdict of the entire Vedic literature.The Vedic literature repeatedly advocates us to take up this process irrespective of our station in life.
            Christianity,Judaism,Islam,Sikhism,Jainism,etc are all on this ladder of Krsna realisation.All these religions believe in God as a Transendental Person,but only the Vedic literature provides His name,a detailed personal description and an encyclopedic information of His activities.
            Of course we cannot change the place and family of our birth but we can all chant the name of Krsna.
            I am not saying this because I am a Hindu but because it is the ultimate truth.Someone has to speak the truth.Now it is upto you to take advantage of this information or to reject it.

          • Throwaway

            You have directed me to many places, now I direct you to Shri Ramakrishna. From direct experience, he found at the very least Christianity and Islam, as well as worship of Krishna and Mother Kali, leading to a vision of God and savikalpa as well as nirvikalpa samadhi. That alone has proved that Vaishnavism has no “sole right” to God and it is not the only way.

            You may ask what authority does Shri Ramakrishna have. He himself attained the state of Mahabhava which was only ever attained previously by Radha and Shri Chaitanya. He himself was declared as an avatar by Vaishnavacharan of the Vaishnava society, a famous pundit of the time,as well as other Vaishnavas. And he attained God-realisation without being in the ISKCON Vaishnava disciplic succession.

            One small point of yours which does not make any sense. You imply that being born in the wilds of the jungle without access to a way to God is as a result of karma. If so, what path did God leave for those people? He obviously didn’t leave the path of Krishna. Those people have been living there for generations upon generations, with (according to you) no method of spiritual advancement. Surely God must have left SOME way for them to progress and to find him? Indeed, in Israel and the Arab countries he left the path of Christianity and Islam. In other places he must have left other paths too. Why didn’t he leave the path of Krishna all over if it was “the only way”? What was the point of leading all these people down the “wrong” path? Your argument is petty and does not hold weight.

            My friend, some things that are very evident in your utterances are a fierce pride and some arrogance in that you have the “only” way and that you are speaking “the truth” (not to mention inflammatory language). What appears to be lacking is humility. I tell you something that many others great teachers have said: Once pride enters, all learning stops.

            Mahatma Gandhi said: “The seeker after truth should be humbler than the dust. The world crushes the dust under its feet, but the seeker after truth should so humble himself that even the dust could crush him. Only then, and not till then, will he have a glimpse of truth.”

            Anyway, intellectual arguments take one nowhere. As Shri Ramakrishna himself says, it is like going to a mango grove and doing everything else besides eating the mangos. Debating can reveal nothing except the faults of the participants. It is one’s own personal experience that will reveal God to him or her.

          • Throwaway

            I couldn’t help but notice: a Purana that mentions Buddhism? It must be a very recent Purana. Also by what leap of faith did you associate Shakaracharya with Lord Shiva in that very recent Purana? It’s extremely convenient how the arguments in this very recent Purana appear to support Vaishnavism and undermine Advaita. The text is totally clumsy and makes no sense. God coming down to spread ignorance?? A clear case of made up verses by some unknown Vaishnava supporter.

          • Gangadas

            Lord Sri Krsna is the Supreme Personality or God.A Vaishnav is a devotee of Vishnu or Krsna.Lord Shiva is a demigod and a servant of Sri Krsna.’Vaishnavanam yatha Shambhu’,that is,Lord Shiva is a foremost Vaishnav.Lord Shiva came as Sripada Shankaracharya to spread the false (asat) Advaita philosophy.He did this on the order of Sri Krsna.The aim was to turn the atheistic buddhists towards the theistic Vedic philosophy.Sripada Shankar performed this phenomenal feat simply by changing the Buddhist concept of ‘voidism’ to the ‘Impersonal Brahman’ of the Advaita philosophy.Lord Shiva foretold this episode to Parvati in the Padma Purana (6.236.7).Don’t blame me.I did not write Padma Puran,Srila Vedvyasa did.Advaita philosophy is nothing but ‘covered Buddhism’ and is subversive of all shastric knowledge.Those with hatred in their heart for Sri Krsna find the Advaita philosophy very attractive.Anyways after Shankaracharya appeared Sripada Ramanujacharya(vishistadvaita),Sripada Madwacharya(Dwaitva) and then finally Sri Krsna Himself as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who finally brought ‘achintya bhedabhed tattva’,the pinnacle of devotional love for Sri Krsna.

            I have supported my arguments with appropriate quotations from the authoritative Vedic literature.You have not done so,and yet you expect me to believe in your speculation! What kind of logic is that?!

            When ramkrishna claimed that he saw ‘god’,he simply meant that he saw himself as ‘god’,how disingenuous!! He claimed that he was both Sri Ram and Sri Krsna! Did he prove it by displaying the ‘Virat Rupa’?!! Anyone can claim to be God.That does not prove anything.His claim of mahabhava is equally fraudulent.

            Mayavadis believe that they are God?!! and as a proponent of the Mayavada philosophy you blame me for being arrogant!! and teach me the meaning of ‘humility’!!

            I challenge you, bring me a million such ramkrishnas and vivekanandas and I will demolish them.

          • Throwaway

            Sorry he did not see himself as God, he actually said to Swami Vivekananda that he saw God more clearly than he saw Vivekananda, and also spoke to God. Also quoting from a book written by Vaishnavas to “prove” your point means nothing. It’s like writing a story about you being the greatest person in the world and then you go around claiming that you are the greatest and point to the book as proof.

            Also Shri Ramakrishna didn’t claim mahabhava. He did not even know what it was. It was noticed by others, and verified by others, among then great Vaishnavite scholars of the time.

            You claim Lord Shiva said etc. etc. in some Purana. Well the Puranas were written by people. And many many of the Puranas were changed by self-serving people over the years. That statement in the Padma Purana of God spreading ignorance and untruth is utter rubbish, and you will find no clearer evidence of human tampering with religions books than the example you gave.

            You claim that the Advaita philosophy is just a form of Buddhism, well I claim that you speak nonsense. Buddhist philosophy was merely a restating of essential truths already found in Indian religions experience. All Adi Shankaracharya did was bring it back to the attention of people and make it more evident. Also, if God came down to turn Buddhists away from Buddhism then he didn’t do a very good job, because there are hundreds of times more Buddhists now than there were in India then. The Indian people turned away from Buddhism because all Adi Shankaracharya did was remind them of what they had forgotten about Advaita.

            You also pick and choose your words and translation of Bhaja Govindam to support your arguments, whereas it is well known that advaita, vishishtadvaita as well as dvaita viewpoints are present throughout the Bhaja Govindam. One does not know the context of the recital of the verses. It is extremely likely that Adi Shankaracharya was reciting it to a Vaishnava, hence the slant towards Govinda. There are many other compositions by Adi Shankaracharya dedicated to other forms of God as well, not to mention most of his works on Advaita. I notice that you do not choose any of these other works to quote from. Selective picking and choosing only makes you look like you are grasping at straws.

            Once again pride is very evident in your words (“I challenge you… I will demolish them”). Truly friend, you are not being the instrument of Krishna yourself, but merely blowing your own trumpet.

            As a postscript I must mention that there is no hatred in my heart for Shri Krishna, only love. In your terms, I am in Sakhya Bhava with Shri Krishna. Please do not make assumptions about me and what I feel. I do not believe that Advaita is the only way. I also do not believe Bhakti is the only way. I believe that whatever way we choose, God helps us to find him on that path, because he is full of love and not full of division like you paint him out to be. And none of the paths is better or worse than any other, so all this talk of “blasphemy” and “my path is better than yours” is utter rubbish.

          • Gangadas

            Sri Chaitanya has said that the Mayavada shastra is grossly blasphemous and utterly destroys all spiritual endeavors.It is worse than the atheists.Unfortunately you seem to be a victim.

          • Throwaway

            Well I will agree with you on one thing: meditating on the “mayavadi” shastra utterly destroys YOUR kind of spiritual endeavours.

            One thing was bothering me, so I meditated on it a bit. You say that Adi Shankaracharya came down to spread a false teaching against the Buddhists. But Shri Jayadeva Goswami wrote a very famous and beloved poem among the vaishnavas (even Prabhupada) called Dasavathara Stotra, in which Buddha is described as the incarnation of Krishna!

            So, Krishna incarnated as Buddha to spread the teaching of non-violence towards all animals as well as atheism and “voidism”, and then (according to you and I am sure according to Prabhupada as well) Lord Shiva (the “greatest vaishnava”) incarnated as Adi Shankaracharya to spread a “false teaching” to discredit the Buddhist philosophy, which was spread by Krishna in the first place, thereby discrediting Krishna! Wow what a great plan! The more I think about your points the less sense they make!

          • Throwaway

            One more thing:

            Buddhism came into existence at the earliest about 600 BC. Therefore the farthest back in time that verse in Padma Purana could have been written was at the earliest 600 BC. Veda Vyasa had nothing to do with it. It looks more and more like the Vaishnavas were very busy re-writing history to support their views. Who knows what else has been re-written, and yet you happily fling quotes to justify your beliefs. I think you need to do some urgent truth-seeking yourself.

      • >That statement is perfectly true. And, it it’s also untrue as well. Because there are multiple definitions for the word “Hindu”.

        Reminds me of people who might say: “You can never really be a Catholic” if you didn’t grow up Catholic — being born with a Christian name, having Mary and Jesus statues and candles in your house, learning prayers (and half-mumbling the ones you forgot some of the words to), going to Catholic school, struggling to sit/stand/sing/sit/stand in mass, wearing that awkward First Communion outfit, forgetting what you were going to say during confession… etc!

        To some, being a “real” Catholic means having this whole experience. To others, it might mean going through the rites/sacraments required to become a Catholic with the other stuff being more “cultural.”

        I imagine it’s the same with followers of Sanatana dharma. Some see Sanatana dharma as a whole upbringing/lifestyle that. Others see it as a set of principles you can choose to adopt at any point in life.

        • Hidimbi Hidimbaa

          So very true, Sara!

          When I was in college I had a close friend who was Jewish. “Very Jewish”, as she often described herself. Born into a Jewish family, had a Jewish name, observed all the Jewish holidays and went to her temple regularly. To her, being Jewish was an integral part of her identity.

          Then one day we met a guy who adamantly argued that she was not Jewish. The reason? Because she occasionally ate shrimp sometimes.

          This guy was in our social circle, so these debates were frequent, and they absolutely infuriated my friend.

          But, by some definitions she is Jewish. Just clearly not by his.

          No one is ever going to be a perfect this nor a perfect that in everyone’s eyes, and it’s not something to aspire to.

          • Ambaa

            I have a deeply practicing Jewish friend who gets told she isn’t Jewish because it’s her father and not her mother who is Jewish!