Lee Diamond

Lee Diamond – What Am I & Dr. Hertzl

Lee Diamond – What Am I & Dr. Hertzl


What Am I

A Jew ?


A Hebrew?

  1. A Jew: Noun. An Ethnic group  descended from the kingdom of Judah. A noun defining any one from  this ethnic group or people.

In modern usage often derogatory.

Ex. My neighbor is s Jew!

  1. Jewish: an adjective. Describing the faith or religion of a person who lives among other religious, ethnic or national groups.

In modern usage a gentle or politically comfortable way of describing a Jew. Less pejorative , more accepted In an open society.

Ex. I am a Jewish American.

  1. Hebrew. A noun used in biblical terminology to describe those who followed Abraham’s descendants as they wandered. ע ב ר means to wander or ״pass through״ in the ancient near east.

Hardly used today to define Jews or Jewish but once used  to avoid the use of the word Jew or Jewish for fear of anti semitism.

Ex. The Union of American Hebrew Congregations was the name of what Is is referred to today—as the Union of Reform Judaism.

So why add “ISH” to the noun Jew.

Jew is such a strong word. It means different from others. Separate from others.

Whereas “ISH” softens the Jew.

Not different;   Not separate.

Just a different flavor.

Chocolate, vanilla and strawberry are

All ice creams. Just a matter Of taste.

But all ice cream is

Made the same way

Same ingredients

Same process

It’s all In the taste and coloring.

“Ish” also means almost or similar


Jew Is not like

Jew Is unlike

Jew Is set aside

Jew Is different ancestry

Jew implies to some, certain characteristics.

It’s even used as a negative  verb!

Jewish is alike

 Jewish is Integrated

We’re all Human but we’re strawberry humans

Jewish is almost!

Like childish — not quite an adult.

So—.  “Not quite a Jew”

So what are we?

Jews, or Jewish?

Shylock said with pride To his persecutors

I am a Jew

Daniel Pearl, to his captors,

Said the Same!

As an Israeli I say to you.

I’m a Jew

Not Jew “ISH”

I Am A Jew.


To Dr. Herzl from an Contemporary  Israeli


To “simply be”with each Kol Ha Kavod to you, sir.

You had the vision

And we have the honor

To live the reality

Of your Dream.

You can’t imagine

How good the dream has become

We are the largest Jewish

Community In the world.

We speak Hebrew

Everybody speaks Hebrew

Even babies

It’s our mother tongue .

All our schools Jewish

Yes even the secular

Schools are steeped

In our culture.

Our calendar is Jewish

Our week ends with Shabbat

Our names are Hebrew names

Our holidays are all Jewish!

Jews from every diaspora

Live here and Share a common culture

We eat sufganiot from the day

After Simchat Torah

And Oznei Haman

Weeks before Purim

Most Israelis

Don’t know the words

“Hooman Tashen”

Pesach is breadless

Yet it’s mstzafull

We all fast on Yom Kippur

And the streets are empty

Of all cars and busses

(But our kids ride bikes on highways)

Shabbat is our day


Or to pray

or to “beach together”

Or to see our beautiful

Piece of land.

But, Sir, we are still

Unwanted in our neighborhood

We are still fighting

For our right to be

It seems that the

More we succeed

The more we are hated

We’re stronger than you

Ever imagined

Our IDF forces are able

To defend us

But we still lack permanent


We have allies In the world

But We have foes In the same


Jerusalem is our capital

But only two or three nations

Recognize this capital

Anti semitism still abounds

In the world

But  the words “anti Israel”

Or “anti Zionist”

Have replaced the old words

For Jew hatred.

Diaspora Jews often criticize us

And sometimes we deserve this.

But it’s  sometimes hard to listen to

Them, cause they are embarrassed

By Jewish strength .

We also know ourselves that

Strength brings with it

Responsibility. We take this rather


Dr. Herzl

You had the vision

You helped create the vision

We live the vision

And continue to strengthen it

It’s no longer the dream that

We “willed” together

It’s for real! It’s “Is Real.”

But why us it still so hard

To Be A Jew? Dr Herzl?

Do you think that Uganda might have

Been easier?








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