I Am Not Orthodox

A video about Jewish unity created by a group of 7th graders.

Inspired by the viral film “I am Not Black, You are Not White” by Prince Ea, students at Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy created the following video as part of a school project with the aim to promote Jewish unity.

Comments (12)

(11) Joel Landau, November 30, 2016 2:26 PM

All jews are orthodox - I agree with that

Here is the deal, the Jewish religion is based on orthodox beliefs and if anyone who is not Orthodox Jewish, but is Jewish nonetheless, he must search deep within him in order to find the true meaning of his religion. Once realized, everybody in this religion will be Jewish.

(10) scott, June 26, 2016 6:15 AM

All jews are orthodox. Some just find it inconvenient.

There's a joke I like.

A atheist jew in france was up for a professorship. But in his age jews couldn't be professors. So the president of the university asked the guy why he didn't simply convert to Christianity since he didn't believe in G*d anyway. The atheist replied that the G*d he didn't believe in was the G*d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

What is "orthodox"? Seriously.

So when I lived in the states "orthodox" was those guys wearing black and staying in their own little communities.

When I moved to Israel, everyone was orthodox. Even the guys driving their scooters to the beach on shabbos.

Is everyone a good orthodox jew? Heck no.

But everyone agrees as to what the standard is here. Like the "atheist" jew in the joke there is something to being part of a people. There is something to belonging to a G*d. even one you don't believe in. There is something to having a standard that says "Jews don't do this." Even if you ignore it.

The problem with the liberal strains is that they destroy peoplehood by changing the standard to whatever seems popular and least difficult in diaspora.

If you eat a cheeseburger...you're being a bad jew. If you can't own that simple fact there's no hope for you. The first step in making positive change is to admit that you need to make a change. If your revisionist sect simply relabels your bad behavior as good behavior to make you feel good you'll never change. And every year revisionist sects keep lowering the expectations on jews wondering why they keep losing members.

Heck they don't even teach the parts of jewishness that seem uncool anymore. If their members wanted to become more observant they wouldn't know how or why.

They have no way to make teshuvah. They don't know how unless they stumble into a chabad center. They are consciously cut off form their people by their own people.

Its sad.

(9) Anonymous, June 24, 2016 12:50 PM

Nice sentiment, but...

OK, nice sentiment, but we are judged by the way we look and present ourselves. The "hoodie" does not help your cause. One "chooses" the manner in which one presents himself to the world. This "presentation" generates the "label." While we are commanded to love our fellow Jew, we have to remember that when Reform & Conservative openly teach their children and others that Torah is not from HaShem, they have taken upon themselves the "label" with which they have "chosen" to present to the world. Reform and Conservative ideology has transformed this from a commandment to just a "sentiment." Sentiment is nice, but that is all that it is. In the Sephardic community, things USED to be a bit different. Each according to his own conscience in terms of level of observance. The man who drove will park a few blocks away; the man who was chauffeured will be let off a block away from the "kinese"; the observant will walk; the Kollel-person sits next to the Mechallel Shabbat. Each will be called to the Torah. We may not give the Mechallel Shabbat she'lishsi (He'll get an Acharon), but all will go to the same Kinese and the Chacham is the Chacham. Each will kiss the hand of the Chacham, but the Chacaham will not turn away from the Mecahellel shabat, neither will the man in kollel. The Torah is the Torah and its authority is accepted as is the Chacham in our community. This is foreign in the Ashkenazic community and has been corrupted in our community now as Conservative in Long Island & LA specifically target Sephardic Congregations for "conversion" to their philosophy. I, for one, resent it. When you break away to become "Reform" and publicly teach that the Torah is not from HaShem and that Torah She'Be'al Peh is non-sense as do Reform and Conservative, they have taken upon themselves the label they wear. They have written it upon themselves in their own hand. Sure, love them, but I will not tolerate the behavior. They are welcome to return, but return they must.

(8) Debbie, June 22, 2016 4:11 AM

My husband and I chose our son's high-school based on how they labelled themselves.

The 1st school called themselves modern orthodox. I don't want to be labelled that. The second school talked over and over about academic excellence. We asked, "What about yirat shamayim?" They said, "Of course". The third school labelled themselves a child-centered school; that was EXACTLY the kind of school our son needed!

(7) Ari Schoenfeld, June 19, 2016 10:04 PM

Sounds very nice but... Labels are not the problem, respect for diferences is the problem

Labels are not the problem. Am Israel in Har Sinai called each other "You are a Levi", "You are a Zevulun" or "you are a Naftali", but they were ONE, and that is why they received the Torah!!
You can't play ostrich:labels MUST exist because they are true but H' wants us to behave and to be ONE even though we are very different, that is what we have to change.

(6) Esti Cornwag, June 17, 2016 10:21 PM

My sisters go there!

(5) Shira Baila, June 17, 2016 10:33 AM

I think this very well done. Kol ha'kavod!

(4) Sarah, June 17, 2016 12:14 AM


Exactly. A Jew will always b a Jew. Wether u r religious or not. It's in our bloodstream.

Daniel, June 24, 2016 6:11 PM

True, but...

Yes, this is the essence of a Jew...It is in our DNA. This is why a Jew will put Torah above all and give his life for same. However, in the non-religious this in-born trait comes out in ways that are not desirable and even terribly destructive. A left-leaning liberal Jew with allow his leftist ideology to "Trump" (pardon the pun) all else, even our own survival. They will hold fast to left-leaning ideas that are antithetical to Torah and even our basic survival. They will support left leaning causes and factions, even if it means the sacrifice of Israel and their own brethren...This is the essence of a Jew, but when misdirected, can be horribly destructive giving rise to movements like the masqilim and the tendency to support all sorts of left-leaning causes which in their very nature may have anti-Jewish consequences as is seen the the left's pre-occupation with shielding Islam and the Jehadi's -- yet supporting divestment from Israel...Without Torah, there is nothing...

(3) Anonymous, June 16, 2016 6:03 PM

I agree..

Go to you tube and listen to a song by YAAAKOV SCHWEKEY called " lo yaavod" This beautiful song and video is EXACTLY about the above subject, how Jews should care for each other no matter how religious they are.. And, by the way, this Hillel video is wonderful too.. Kol hakavod guys!

(2) rachel Pollack, June 16, 2016 5:47 PM


Still waiting for the time when we can live as ONE.

(1) Reuven Frank, June 15, 2016 4:19 PM

Yo, guys: Good One!

I call myself a Torah observant Jew to avoid all the stigmas and divisions that an absolutely ENORMOUS number of labels cause.

I can only hope and pray that, one day, we'll ALL
Just be Jews.

Great name for a new togetherness and Jewish awareness movement:
"Just Be Jews!"


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