“Who is a Goy”

One fairly irate reader writes (excerpt):

As a Jew affiliated with the Reform movement I wont pretend to speak for others I can only say that ir you denigrate my religious practices and call them not Jewish then you denigrate me, also. And the basic premise of what you claim from the Reform Movement comments is true.

I first experienced this nonsense in the late 50s, coming into a second hour Hebrew High School class, together with Reform and Conservative colleagues, eating an ice cream bar picked up, on break, from the local grocery store. The teacher, an Orthodox Jew and obviously more than a little hungry, went ballistic when she saw us eating on Tannis Esther, launching a five minute tirade culminating in You Reform Jews are Goyim! (The injustice: of the 9 of us walking into the class eating, only two were Reform. The others were there mostly because they wanted to go to Camp Ramah that summer.)

Obviously, I wasn’t there, but somehow I doubt she actually used the word “Reform” in her summation – I suspect she called the kids “goyim” the same way our rabbeim called me and my friends “goyim” or “shkotzim” twice a week for taking a yarmulke off for a second while playing basketball or for talking about tv, etc., etc.

Here’s a good rule of thumb, my friends: the way you know you’re really a Jew is if you’ve been called a goy as a kid.

(If you were called a shaigetz and/or a shkotz, you’re probably Ortho.)

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