He is us

He is us

Pogo Possum once said: “I have seen the enemy and he is us.”

It is a pity that one of the world’s greatest truisms came from a comic strip character. But no truer words have ever been spoken by human beings.

The Jewish Standard apparently has come under fire for decrying the Orthodox community’s failure to step forward when non-Orthodox synagogues became the focus of hate crimes. Some even have demanded that the newspaper apologize for the criticism.


As someone who was brought up Orthodox (now a Conservative), I rarely saw acceptance by this group of any other form of Judaism. In fact, I was once told that I could not possibly be Jewish because I did not wear a yarmulke all the time.

Some Orthodox on the far right in Israel do little but criticize the government and are exempt from the military that serves and protects the people there. IDF soldiers have a saying: “You pray for us and we’ll fight for you.” It is meant sarcastically.

Some fundamentalists Orthodox sects do not even want women walking on the same side of the street as do men. And shades of pre-1960 in this country, in Israel they want women to ride in the back of the bus. Sounds like Iran to me.

As a journalist, I have sometimes written articles that disturbed some people. I have always felt that if everyone agreed with what I had written, I did something wrong.

I cannot fathom what The Jewish Standard should apologize for. Perhaps if any apology is warranted, it should come from those in the Orthodox community who look down on others Jews as being less worthy than they are.