April 23, 2010 | 11:15 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
My blog is about keeping the faith. The dictionary defines faith as the confident belief or trust in the truth or trustworthiness of a person, concept or thing. Faith is not just about religion. When I am faced with adversity, no matter how difficult things are, I manage to keep the faith.
It’s not always easy. Some days I have abundant amounts of faith to hold on to, and other days, it takes every last ounce of my strength, to find a sliver of faith to pull me through. I have faith in God, in myself, and in people in general. For me, faith is much bigger than just my practice of Judaism.
I like to think that people are inherently good. Listen, I know not all people are good. I am not so naïve as to think everyone is kind, but with all the pain and suffering in the world, and people trying to help, I allow the goodness of a few, to shape how I view people in general. I have faith there will always be kind people.
If I didn’t think strangers were capable of kindness, it would be really hard to be positive about the future for my son, and this world. If I were to focus on all the negative things that are happening in the world, I would never leave my house, home school my kid, and live in constant fear.
If you take into account how I live my life, my choices to be kind, and my conscious decision to keep the faith, you can imagine how crushing it is, when I am attacked for thinking this way. I am a person who tries very hard to not judge people, I don’t always succeed, but at least I try.
I wrote a blog about meeting Sarah Palin, and I was bombarded with hate mail. Not only from strangers, but from people in my own life. I wrote a blog about feeling compassion for Nadya Suleman, and I was once again buried under hate mail. I was judged harshly, for not judging.
I said I would welcome Sarah Palin into my home for dinner, and people wrote to say I was un-American and should be deported back to Canada. I wrote that I felt badly for the struggles that Nadya Suleman faces everyday, and my ability to parent my own child was questioned.
My little blog, and by little of course I mean fabulous, hit a nerve with a lot of people. They were so outraged by my words, that they felt compelled to write me, and share their opinions. It’s great when people write, it’s sad however, when they stop talking about the topic, and attack me.
After the Sarah Palin blogs, I felt sad. It was so upsetting to me that in America, a country with so much hate in its history, hate was still so pervasive. Now, after the Nadya Suleman blog, I am not only sad, but also disgusted. It is hard to keep the faith, when hate is pelted at you.
Why is it so hard for people to be compassionate? I did not say Nadya should be named mother of the year. I simply stated that I felt for her. If you take all your opinions about her out of the picture, and just think about the fact that she is a single mom of 14, can you not find compassion?
If one more person sends me reading material so I can learn all about her, I will scream. I don’t care. I have no interest in knowing anything about this woman. I watched the Oprah interview because I watch Oprah everyday, not because I was tuning so I could start an Octomom fan club.
I stand by my feelings of compassion for this woman. I also stand by my invitation to Sarah Palin, to come to my home for Shabbat dinner. To be clear, I am not comparing Sarah to Nadya. The only thing they appear to have is common, is that people who do not know them, hate them.
It’s interesting how people are so willing to have such strong opinions about people they have never met. I’m not implying that I don’t do it too, because I do. For example, I have never met George Clooney, but I am of the strong opinion, that if he met me, he would want to marry me.
My opinion of Sarah Palin is based on the fact that I met her. I spent time with her, spoke with her, and determined, based on our time together, that she was lovely. I did not register myself as a Republican, shoot a wolf from a helicopter, or plan to hold a tea party in my home.
I am interested in learning what the bible, both old and new testaments, say about hating others. If you have a passage, or biblical reference, please send them to me. I will also research it and see what I can find. Is hating someone, for what they believe in, accepted by God?
I hope I will always be able to live my life in a way I am proud of, and inspires my son to be proud of me. I will continue to think people are inherently good. I hope that when people direct their hate in my direction, I am able to not take it personally, and focus on keeping the faith.
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