Are all Spurs fans Jewish?

Upon leaving Freshers' Week for Rosh Hashanah, I was immediately faced with this question, writes Sam Grossman

October 02, 2017 14:58

Sam Grossman is just going into his second year at Bristol University, where he is studying History. He is one of the finalists in our search for a new student blogger for the JC: 

Are all Spurs fans Jewish? I can certainly name more Spurs players than Mitzvot and admire Harry Kane’s ability to score from almost anywhere, more so than the intricate details of the Talmud.

Consequently, people at university knew I was a Spurs fan long before I told them I was Jewish; I worried that that my secular beliefs alongside a deep sense of Jewish cultural belonging would baffle rather than interest.

So upon leaving Freshers' Week for Rosh Hashanah, I was immediately faced with the question above. Even though 60,000 seats can be sold at Spurs on Yom Kippur, the question was genuine and, rather than scorn, I explained how the majority of UK Jews live in London and so on.

This is why it is only by unashamedly living our own form of Judaism at university that we can combat such misbeliefs.

Whilst fellow Jews may know that there is no such thing as "kosher pork," the abounding bizarre questions I have been asked about my religion, connection to Israel and unfortunate choice of football team have not once insinuated hostility or calculated offence.

Especially when assumptions about Jews and our place in the world appear ignorant and sometimes more dauntingly belligerent, we mustn’t underestimate how little some know about our tiny tribe.

I will always be the first Jewish friend to most of my housemates. That comes with responsibility to project a positive perception of our unique way of life to those who knew so very little beforehand.

In situations where we come to personify our religion, we cannot hide under the obliviousness that we so easily are afforded by the tolerant nature of British society.

Immersing and diversifying our social lives does not infringe on our ability to live culturally vehement lives; the two are instead interwoven. I have found my Judaism takes an even more prominent place owing to the fact that I am constantly conscious of and explaining my habits and rituals.

Whilst I am at a university where Jews are far from a minute minority, I have been amazed at people's interest: their willingness to listen, learn and even debate the principles of my religion in a respectful yet provocative way.

You may even find some end up a little jealous of the same environment they seemed so perplexed by months earlier.

Embrace your Judaism; as only then will others embrace it too.

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October 02, 2017 14:58

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