In her entertaining article “Lose the chip on your shoulder this Christmas” (AJP 12/5/14), Nina Badzin encourages tolerance toward our gentile neighbors, as that is what we “expect” from them. Sadly — in countless cases, tragically — that expectation has frequently been met with intolerance ranging from signs saying “No Dogs and No Jews” to gas chambers.
Fast-forward to my recent experience in a local self-serve yogurt shop. A tip jar was on the counter. Normally seeing a tip jar, especially in establishments where the customer has to do all the work, is a turn-off to me. But this time I turned my minor irritation into a challenge.
I told Susan, the friendly co-ed working the register, that I would contribute to the tip jar if she could answer one question I had been pondering for years: Why has there been so much anti-Semitism in the world among those who worship Jesus, who was a Jew?
After thinking for a moment she replied, “People always want to lash out at those who are different.” (To which I silently added: Or at the least look down on them.)
Susan’s answer, a good reminder for us all, was worth some Chanukah gelt placed in the shop’s “pushke.” I opened my wallet.
– Barbara Russek