As a kid growing up in the intercity “being different is illegal”. I didn’t do the same as my peers from sports to religion. Although being “African-American” I am Jewish most people of color could not comprehend the fact that I was not a Christian. As a kid you want to fit in and have a friend that was not the case for me. I was bullied very heavily because of my religion. I often used to come home very angry my mother would just consoled me and say everything is going to be okay. As I got older I begin to reject my Judaism. I felt as though by not accepting a big part of me the bulling would stop.
Over time it did, I had more of an emotional guilt on my back then I ever thought I would have. At this point in my life I was just happy the bullying is over and people are accepting the new me. My 13 birthday was coming up it was my coming of age. I did not even look forward to it. I began having nightmares of history repeating itself. It was two days be for my birthday I told my mom don’t bother with a party as this my last day declaring myself as a Jew. My mother begin cry and say why you would say such a thing. I simply reply it has been a curse more than a blessing and walk away.
The next day my rabbi came to my school to see me {I guess he figured I couldn’t not run or something}. As I came down to the office I saw how it was. I turn around and walk away. At this point in my life there was no going back to accepting my religion. About five years has passes and I was about to graduate high school. Everyone is talking about with their doing some are going to college or to the military. For me I was still a lost child not knowing what I wanted to do or even who I was. Like most 18-year-olds kids do I went to a U.S Marines office. I talked to a recruiter he has me take the ASVB and I get a97% on it. I qualified to become a Marine sniper. I pretty much had my life figured out. About two and half months be for boot camp I was in car accident occurred were injuries to my sternum being cracked and my big toe broken .
Unfortunately due to the injuries that I received. I was no longer accepted into the United States Marine Corps. While I was in the hospital for three weeks. I had a visit that I haven’t seen in years. I was sleep when he first came; he grabbed my hand and said shalom. I opened my eyes I haven’t heard that word in years. Only to see it was my rabbi. I say shalom back whit a puzzled look on my face. He said thank God that you’re live. How have you been the last couple of years? I say ok I guess I can’t complain. He said good when you get out the hospital stop by the synagogue I want to talk to you. I say ok you’re going to be the first place I stop by when I get out of here. As he leaving the room I start to think what do we have to talk about? As I get released from the hospital I get into the car the car I look at clock it was 6:00pm. My mom said what’s the first thing you like to do I know the food was not all that good.
I ask does Shabbat service still start at 6:30. She looks at me whit a smile on her face and said that’s the first place you want to go !Yes. As we pulled to the synagogue, a sense of humbleness came over me and one tear fell down my face. As we walked in I set way in the back not trying to show my face. The rabbi sees me sit down. About 2 min later I hear the rabbi call my name. I’m slow to stand he calls me to sit next to him. As I am walking I see a sea of people looking at me tiers starts rolling down my face, It’s like I was having an out of body experience as I walk up I look at the last six years of my life. I really gave up something that was deer to me. I hug my rabbi and whispered into his ear Iam a Jewish person knows matter what. At that point I forgave everyone that has bullied me for being different.
~The Power of God’s Love, by Edward B

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