Arts & Culture

The Opinionated Jewish Man: Black Jews and Stupid Jews

I met Al Green when I was fifteen, and besides the fact that I was meeting the voice that has inspired countless people to make babies together, the thing that really struck me was the size of his Magen David.  … Read More

By / August 30, 2010

I met Al Green when I was fifteen, and besides the fact that I was meeting the voice that has inspired countless people to make babies together, the thing that really struck me was the size of his Magen David.  I nervously pulled mine out and said, "your Star of David is much bigger than mine," and asked him to sign my notebook. The good reverend laughed, handed me back the autograph he’d just signed, and said, "Jews are a great people," and walked off.

For the next few weeks, in those pre-Wikipedia days, I was under the impression that Al Green was a black Jew, and I was totally blown away.  Al bringing the two cultures together seemed appropriate, and would have been a welcome addition to the Tribe in my book.  Obviously, I was pretty disappointed when I found out that Al Green is so not Jewish that he’s a reverend.

I thought about that the other day as I read the New York Times article on African-American Orthodox Jews.  While it’s nothing I haven’t heard before, statements like "they are sometimes taunted as “monkeys” or with the Yiddish epithet for blacks" never cease to shock, and always disapoint me. And even though I know the answer to this question, I’m asking it anyway: what sort of douchey Jew doesn’t like black Jews?  Jews should welcome African-Americans into the fold like apples and honey, peanut butter and chocolate, lox and bagels, Hall and Oates, and any other awesome combination you can imagine.