Sunday, May 18, 2008

Blog Personality

I recently read an article on Light Skinned-ed Girl's blog concerning her blog personality. Her short article got me thinking about my "Blog Personality" if you will. This is the second time I have come across the question of a blog personality, and it has me wondering how my blog personality would be defined. Anyone who has read my blog knows how my blog is described and also the type of posts I do. I personally don't know of an exact way to describe my blog. There are several constants that I would say fit with appropriate titles.

The Religious, National, and Ethnic Identity

First and foremost I identify based on my religious, national, and ethnic background. All other methods of identification are meaningless to me.
  1. My blog is an Israeli blog. I live in Israel, speak Hebrew most of the time (although I write most of my blog in English), and blog about my experiences and views as a result of the preparation of living here, as well as the reality of my life here.
  2. My blog is a Jewish blog because I am Jewish and I blog about what I believe as a Jew and general topics in Judaism.
  3. My blog is about my experiences around the world as a Jew with Sephardic, Senegalese, French, and Indian ancestry.
Idan Rachel - Memamaqim

The three above points are constants are evident, at least to me, in every post no matter the subject. This is especially true in the sense that some would say that I don't have the "typical" Jewish experience, but I consider myself to have a "typical" Jewish experience. The idea being that anyone who is Jewish and has an experience can consider those experiences to be typical of Jews in those same circumstances. There are Jews in this world who have experiences that vary from Jews who live in different circumstances.

Like ANY other people on the planet, there are Jews who:
  • Are good people, just as there are those who are bad.
  • Stand for something, and there are Jews who fall for anything.
  • Are every day heroes, and there are Jews who fall short consistently.
  • Are religious, just as there are those who believe in nothing.
  • Are modest, just as there are those who are immodest.
  • Are moral, just as there are Jews who are immoral.
  • Are of Middle Eastern and African descent, just as there Jews of Asian and European descent.
There are only two ways that a person is Jewish and that is having a Jewish mother or some type of conversion to Judaism. Thus, the idea of a typical Jewish experience varies from Jew to Jew, and place to place. So we Jews can be who we choose, or choose not to be.


Where the waters get muddy is in the "American" sense of race. If you read enough posts you may note that I never refer to myself as "black" and that I rarely talk about race. I only thought about this recently after my interview on the Mixed Chicks Chat. There was a point where I mentioned that in high school I went through a "Black Revolutionary Phase" and how people who knew me could see right through this phase. When I asked about it in more detail, in terms of where did it go, I didn't answer the question to the best of my ability. Mainly, because I haven't thought about race in that way in a long time. Looking back at the question got me to thinking about race and what it means to me.

I may do another post about this, but in short I think race, as it is defined in the US is BS, excuse the language. In short the pro-black phase I went through can be summed up in the following way.

"I thought black meant Africa.. Not just part of it, but all of it. I thought black was Kente cloth. I thought black was always talking about a revolution. I thought black was wearing an Africa medallion and arguing with white people about race. I thought black meant everyone had to think the exact same way I did."

Now you can see why I called it a phase, and why people saw me as a fake. At the time I was living in Kansas City, MO (not the most cultural diverse city in America), and there was no strong Jewish presence there. I also was not close to my family since my father and mother had moved there separately, before they met and most of our family was in other areas. Several problems existed with the mindset.

"My African family (Ahwlyahud) came from Senegal and were Maghrebim amongst the Wolof, and a few from Ghana (through marriage). There is no such thing as a national African identity. My direct family has never worn Kente cloth. Not all African ethnic groups wear Kente cloth. I talked about a revolution, but I was just talk. I didn't even know what revolution I was even advocating. It is one thing to talk about a revolution, but it is another to actually live through one. I wore Africa medallions as a fashion choice, and I really knew very little about any part of it. Africa is a continent not a country, and there are thousands of ethnic groups with different languages, and cultures. Arguing with white people about race ends up being a dead end when you yourself aren't really standing for anything. I was just as clueless about race as some of the white people I would argue with. At the time I didn't even know much about my family history, and I didn't even take the time to ask my family."

Etran Finatawa - Surbajo

So after a year I dropped the act and I began to search for my real identity. What I found was that entire time, most of my life, I had been running away from who I really was, and chasing after things that were not really me. I also found that I didn't have a lot of answers to my questions of identity because I wasn't asking the right people the right questions. The more I separated myself from the American system of race, the more free I felt to go back to the roots of who I really am. So if you ask me who I am and what is my blog personality, my answer would be something like this.
"My blog is called Hochmah and Musar. I am Ehav Eliyahu Ever and I am an Israeli, living in Maale Adummim, Israel. Part of my family was Sephardic Jews from Spain. Another part of my family was from Senegal from Ahwlyahud ethnic group who were Maghrebim. Part of my family was French. Part of my family is from Ghana and part of my family is from parts unknown in West Africa. My father's family lived in a Turkish and Latino neighborhood until he was about 10 years old. Most of the family was multilingual until the last generation (Spanish, French, Hebrew). I grew up speaking English and French. Now I only speak Hebrew and English. I have traveled throughout the US, Japan, Ethiopia, and Israel. My blog is made up of my experiences, due to the above cultural experiences, as well as how these experiences have formed my view of the world."
Shoshana Damari z"l - Miryam bat Nisim

If you want all of that in short, "I am Ehav Eliyahu Ever, and I am a typical Israeli."


Shavonne said...

Interesting post. I think your blog is very inspiring. I like the fact that you talk about Judaish without condeming nonbelievers to the depths of hell.

Now about meat and cheese, why can't you mix chicken and cheese? I mean, chickens aren't the children of cows.

Ehav Ever said...

Hey Shavonne,

Thanks for your kind words. You won't find any hell fire on this blog. We Jews concentrate on life. LeChayim.

I have a post I am creating just for you on the milk and meat question. Look for it to be on my blog by the end of the weekend.