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Being "Jew-ish" can be depressing

I am the child of a (conservative) Jewish father and non-Jewish mother, born and raised Reform in the US. Like some other users who have posted about this, I have an identity crisis, but it seems there are things some people haven’t brought up, which I would be curious to hear people’s thoughts or at least kvetch online for myself.

I am not required to follow all the mitzvot like halachic Jews, but constantly feel guilty for my lack of observance. It is sad that my ancestors suffered for centuries and kept their Jewishness, and I am possibly the generation where these traditions stop.

It is depressing to have my connections to Judaism not be a relationship with the nation and Hashem, but of the most desperate attempts to stop from assimilating into American “secular” society.

Sometimes I wish I embody the stereotypes which gentiles impose, because it seems it would better validate me as somewhat Jewish.

It sucks that I am basically circumscribed to a very niche part of the diaspora (American and Reform). If I wanted, I could never go to France or Canada or Israel, or even it seems the former Soviet Union and connect with the people from the communities there.

I get sad when my gentile friends participate in Jewish celebrations, I feel like lose all I have to claim to be even adjacent to the community, let alone Jewish.

I feel depressed when people talk about being proud about their Jewishness and the amazing traditions and heritage, and also about how they are one ‘am and “a Jew is a Jew is a Jew,” only for me to be stuck outside and not be a part of this rejoice.

Even more, I get sad seeing such abundant Yiddishkeit in the past among my dad and older his circle of Jewish friends and how I have none of it, it feels like it is all gone.

I hate that I can be a target of antisemitism and that it is a serious concern for me, that I was bullied for being Jewish but would still be a shabbos goy.

I never know who to speak as (as a Jew? an ally? as a gentile?) when to stand up against other people’s antisemitism.

It is depressing I have never really known my dad’s family because I am the product of an interfaith marriage, but I feel little connection to my mom’s family.

It is depressing to look for advice on this subreddit about dealing with patrilineal Jewish ancestry, only to find it is either unhelpful or what is helpful seems to go unnoticed by other users.

It is also sad to see people who suddenly discover a Jewish maternal grandmother and receive the warmest of welcomes on here. Meanwhile I am stuck.

It is depressing to see people gatekeep me because my mother isn’t Jewish, only for me to catch myself doing the same thing to people with a Jewish grandparent or those who didn’t go to Hebrew school, etc. out of my own insecurity.

Long story short I feel riddled with all the bad things and few of the good things that come with being Jewish. Maybe they’re my own doing, maybe they really are wider problems. In any case, it doesn’t make me feel good to reflect on it, so putting it out here may help.

submitted by /u/bolshoi_durak
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