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    It’s hard being Jewish – Nitzavim

    “This commandment which I command you this day,” says the Almighty, “is not too hard for you, neither is it far off” (Deut. 30:11).

    It’s hard to be Jewish. Not just because it makes so many demands but because – as Jules Isaac, the French educator and thinker, said – the Jew seems to be “the eternal negative symbol of history”.

    For no logical reason, we have been constantly targeted for tragedy. Being Jewish has a habit of bringing prejudice and persecution. That’s the external side of Jewishness – the hostility from without.

    Internally, it’s hard to be a Jew because God expects so much from us – piety and prayers, mitzvot and morality, Torah learning and living.

    One of the hardest things is the simple rule of being honest and upright, as against the greasy, grubby mentality of the environment.

    That’s not to say that we have always lived up to our Divinely-ordained obligations, but we try to do our best.

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