Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
As a Jew, I am offended by your calling yourself "Jewish Fairy
Godmother." You wouldn&'t call yourself a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist,
Satanist, etc., Fairy Godmother so why Jewish? Wouldn&'t just plain
Fairy Godmother be sufficient if that&'s the persona that you insist on
There are affinity groups I belong to that act in ways that offend me.
Political party policies and America to name some repeat offenders.
I&'m offended by economic injustice. Terrorism. Racism. Sexism. War
and other forms of extreme violence. I hope I&'m not in that league for
you. Even at my synagogue there are things that I don’t always agree
with. But I’ve always been proud of being Jewish itself. It’s as much a
part of my identity as gender, or that I was born in Philadelphia. The
effects of being Jewish have deepened over time. In part because of
my study of Torah, and also because I increasingly care leaving this
place better than how I came into it. Tikkun olam (the repair of a
broken world) is foundational in Jewish. It’s more than just believing in
the ethics and values of Judaism. It’s about actively trying to help
people, each as we can, one to another, in the hope that the healing
and redemption keeps getting bigger and bigger.
I use Jewish in my name because I am not a Christian, Muslim,
Buddhist, Satanist, etc. I like to think that the advice I give and the
values I espouse are founded in exactly the values that I study, think
about, and pray about regularly. At the best of times I am helpful. At
my worst I hope I do no harm. I never feel that I am in some way
reflecting badly on my religion or people. I’m sorry you are offended.
You should probably not read this column or ask me for advice. I hope
this is the biggest kvetch you have in life.