Where I'm not sure if I'm a bigot.....

by Leah Bieler

I have to believe I'm not the only one who's ever thought about this question - do my particularistic Jewish choices close me off from the rest of the world, or even make me a bigot? See my take on this question from Jewcy.com, starting here.


It was my sophomore year and a group of us were gathered in a dorm room, teenage bodies splayed across beds and chairs and floor. I don’t recall exactly what prompted the conversation, but someone asked a dorm mate, an Indian national, to talk about the possibility of arranged marriage.

“That’s crazy,” complained one of my friends. “To assume that the person you are meant to be with happens to be from your ethnic group. You could find him anywhere. It’s racist.”

Well, that stopped me in my tracks. Since hiding in that tiny, crowded room wasn’t really an option, I just sat still, hoping no one would notice me. And it might have worked, if not for my close friend who announced to my horror, “Leah will only date and marry Jews.” Despite all of my attempts to be seen as a left-leaning, color blind, student of the world, I had just been called out as a bigot. Awesome.


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