Historically speaking, scribes were our only vehicle to pass on our beautiful heritage and legacy to Jews that were not in our immediate vicinity. Being the “People of The Book” is a testament to our emphasis on reading and writing to tell our narrative to everyone who would like to listen.
In our modern world, a group of passionate young professionals have gotten together to be “The Skribe” of our community; a place to voice our ideas, opinions and anything else we feel worthy of sharing. Please join us!
Here’s how you can get involved:
-Write an original article. This can include anything from an opinion piece to a unique recipe.
– Love taking pictures? Contribute original photographs to be used in the magazine
-For requirements on writing an article for The Skribe, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Response to “10 Reasons Persian Jews Support Trump,” Afshine Emrani’s Opinion Piece in the Jewish Journal
Afshine Emrani’s opinion piece states that his “strong impression is that most Persian Jews in Los Angeles support Donald Trump.” Days before it was published, he wrote on his personal facebook, “Question for my #Persian #Jewish friends who support #Trump. Why?” He did not ask the same question to his Persian Jewish followers who are Hillary Clinton supporters. So what gave him the impression that most Persian Jews in Los Angeles support Trump? As an American Persian Jew, I am here to tell you that I would never vote for such a xenophobic, bigoted candidate as Trump and I know many more who feel the same way. The arguments in the opinion piece are weak, and some of the claims are complete fallacies. You can read more on each claim here.
Trump’s hate-filled rhetoric towards immigrants and minorities is truly disconcerting. He has offended almost every single minority group in the United States, including Middle Easterners and Jews. He has proposed a ban on Muslims, referred to undocumented immigrants as “rapists,” and called the federal judge hearing his fraud case on Trump University “biased” and “corrupt” solely because of his Mexican heritage. He refused to disavow David Duke and The Klu Klux Klan, posted anti-semitic imagery on his twitter and declined to apologize.
The United States Refugee Act of 1980, with the assistance of organizations like HIAS, gave Persian Jews, including my family, the chance to flee religious persecution after the Iranian Revolution and seek asylum in the United States. They left a country that treated them like second-class citizens, and came to a country that celebrates religious freedom. Donald Trump has proposed a suspension to President Obama’s plan to take in refugees from the Middle East. These are people fleeing a familiar vehement religious oppression our families endured. Our relatives were fortunate enough to come to this country. It would be very difficult for them to enter under Trump’s proposed program suspension.
History has taught us that as Jews, we shouldn’t take it lightly when individuals in power threaten to uproot groups of people based upon their religion. As Iranian Jews, we personally know how it feels when this happens. I am not speaking to you as a Democrat or a Republican, as a conservative or a liberal, but as a Persian Jewish American woman who was raised on the values of acceptance, compassion, and humanity. We are proud to be a part of this great nation of immigrants, and we refuse to back a candidate like Donald Trump that espouses hatred and racism.
When you are twenty-two and fresh out of college, it is highly unlikely that you will have an unwavering sense of which career path you would like to pursue. It is even more unlikely that your first “grown-up job” will be a stepping stone that serves to propel you toward a career in the same field. At twenty-two, we face uncertainty and experience vast vacillation. At twenty-two, we leave our former collective identity as a student body behind and enter a realm of purgatory, which we will inhabit until we are settled enough to have the capacity to allow our careers and familial characteristics to define us. At twenty-two, we suffer – we are so uncomfortable with the idea of not being congruent with any of the incomplete, yet highly sought after labels that are glorified by our society, that we make up new ones. We tell people that we are finding ourselves to buy time; we use this umbrella verb to excuse our otherwise noted lack of ambition and direction, and to be certain that we do not appear complacent or lazy to the more experienced eye. We identify ourselves as a means of self-marketing. We identify ourselves in a metamorphic manner, and in doing so; we reduce the meaning of identity.
A few nights ago I Google searched the term “finding myself.” As a recent college graduate, I have encountered this phrase incredibly often over the course of the past few months. These days, the natural thing to do after getting your BA, is globetrot. People are encouraged to follow the current trend, meaning we are urged to take time to ourselves and either go be a tourist somewhere, or get outdoorsy and hike some life-altering trail. The majority of my friends are currently doing just that. They are exploring all kinds of avenues previously unbeknownst to them in hopes of finding themselves. Some of my more established acquaintances, on the other hand, continuously insist on inquiring with regard to what stage I have reached on the path to finding myself. It is as if they feel nostalgic about their concluded odyssey for self-awareness and hope to identify with some portion of mine. When I become overwhelmed by the seemingly infinite uncertainty that accompanies being twenty-something, my parents assure me that I will find myself in my own time. It’s all over the place – this idea that I am missing in action. Society perpetuates this abstract notion that we must all go on some global or mental treasure hunt to find ourselves. But are we really lost? I don’t feel lost. I could easily claim feeling uneasy and unsure at times, or even panicked on occasion, but lost? No. I am not lost, so how could I possibly go about finding myself? I have never quite understood the meaning of this colloquialism, and I certainly do not see how its relevance to my current situation holds any validity. In my mind, in order to be considered in the process of finding oneself, it is imperative for one to have lost himself prior to the beginning of this mythical quest. This never happened to me – or maybe it has and I simply neglect to regard it as such. In my dismissal of the phrase altogether, I have failed to take the time to understand it. Considering the prevalence of the expression, like a true millennial, I decided it best to take to Google to become better informed.
My search yielded nothing but clichéd “inspirational” quotes and online scams. Modern society has this incredible way of adhering to trends. We turn nouns into verbs like it’s a sport – we juice and we Zumba and we bronze and then we get over all of that and move on to the next year, or month, or week of exciting lifestyle habits. It is very fast-paced and impulsive, and although it is meant to be a means of fulfilling trivial and temporary intrigue, it becomes routine. It spills into the decision-making process, or lack thereof, for more permanent and significant choices, which become the foundations of our futures. We become consumed by the flavors of each month and somehow dupe ourselves into considering them to be applicable to everything. We believe them to be permanent in the moment, even though we know better – we are fully aware that these fads have the life expectancy of a goldfish, yet we base our lives around them until we are forced to acknowledge whatever replaces them. We become consumed by the pop culture that exists in everything and when a decision needs to be made, no matter how momentous or insignificant, we look to the wrong references. We make choices based on what is currently trendy, assuming that because of the quantity of people currently wrapped up in a certain practice, rather than the actual quality of it, it is trustworthy and valid and ultimately the best option for us. We allow our minds to become convoluted by focusing on the wrong things, but this is not necessarily our fault. Our society is driven and propelled by our consumption in this way. Some of us genuinely don’t know any better – there are people who have never thought about these kinds of things in a critical manner, and most members of our community are completely unaware that there is even a problem here. The fictitious, yet widely accepted contemporary period of time, or these days, even right of passage known as finding myself, is a trend. Why perpetuate it?
I understand the premise of this trend in particular. It is important to embrace mental relaxation after graduating from college, rather than force a secure and “respectable” pseudo-passion on yourself. I recognize the value in taking a step back from the lifelong grind and assessing your current situation and what you want out of life before blindly pursuing every opportunity that comes your way. I believe that these are the right steps to take when searching for direction and purpose. Before making any moves toward securing a future, you must be certain of the kind of future you hope to attain. I also believe, however, that actively using the phrase finding myself to describe your current situation is a cop out. I understand why individuals are eased by their usage of the phrase, but I think that it has become much bigger than it is worth. It creates a fictional time period in which young adults can remain in their comfort zones and ease into adulthood in a lackadaisical manner while real time continues to pass. I consider arbitrary traveling and hiking to be a waste – zealous traveling and hiking, on the other hand, are sublime. I find our obsession with trends to have a high correlation with our need for definition. Somehow society has managed to engrain in our minds the notion that distinctly defined identity is requisite to existence. As a result, we all tend to persistently and fervently identify and define ourselves in particular ways throughout our lives. Often times, what we cling to and categorize ourselves as doesn’t truly represent who we are. We evolve through classifications rather than big picture advancements. We remain preoccupied by labeling others as well as ourselves. As we grow older, we are expected to be definable in a multifaceted manner. We move on from a time in which “child” or “student” would suffice to a place where “mother-wife-lawyer” or “husband-father-engineer” is more appropriate.
Frequently, we find identity in the things that occupy us. Our passions and careers are perceived to encompass all of who we are, but we are made of so much more. The labels we are classified by are insufficient in demonstrating to the world the entire makeup of each of us respectively. It is good to know what occupies people; it is good to know about their professions and outside interests, and this information certainly helps others to begin to understand us. The problem is that this information is simply the beginning. By allowing singular or compound, yet simple, labels to define us and by viewing these labels as sufficient in comprising our identities, we encourage others to take this incomplete information and allow their minds to run wild with idealizations and stereotypical judgments with regard to what kind of person these categorizations make us. By simplifying identity in this manner, we diminish diversity.
Fresh out of college and, to some degree, on our own, we have reached the point in our lives in which we will experience the most growth. This growth is predominantly intangible. We learn how to truly care for ourselves, as well as others; we learn through experience, what we do and don’t want out of life and what kinds of people we do and don’t find worthy of our time and energy; we learn to leave certain characteristics and beliefs in the past, while adopting new ones that are more mature and appropriate for the segment of life we are phasing into. In learning to let go of our pasts and focus on the present, as well as our futures, we confront our demons and begin to balance out pride and vulnerability; we grant ourselves with the capacity to acknowledge that there are more potential outcomes in life than merely success and failure and that life is not black and white. This is the kind of growth that is instrumental to forming our respective personhoods and that is why this is a big picture advancement along with all of the other stuff – this, plus age, occupation, and interest. Living by labels alone is incomplete and frankly, an injustice to ourselves as well as our society. Using the trendy term finding myself as a substitution for the labels is no better. I take issue with this because it has no meaning. We are not on a treasure hunt; we are here. We have all of the material that we need; there is really no reason to go looking for anything. We are not finding ourselves; we are growing. “Growing” – this is a boring, regular word that has been used since the beginning of time, right? People replace it with finding myself because finding myself is the current trend, but if it means anything other than growing, it’s wrong, and if it’s the same, why do we need to change the presentation of it?
The classifications we give ourselves and others give us are simply a portion of our identity. The meaning of identity is relative in a sense, so I can only share my belief. I view identity as personhood. I think that our respective identities should encompass and be reflective of who we are as a whole. Not simply who others view us to be, or who we would like to be or aspire to be, or even who we are at our core alone. It is everything. My identity is everything. Your respective identities are everything. Accepting the notion of one label being all of who you are sets you up for great loss. Labels change. Once you grow out of that one label and it is no longer applicable, you lose your entire identity. Labels, like trends, are dispensable, but identity is not. Identity begins at birth and evolves through life; it doesn’t stop until you die. You build on your identity everyday. It is not something that can ever be completely conveyed in words, it is all of who you are, and who you are is an incredible being.
Talk Back: Late Marriages
For better or for worse, our generation is witnessing a new phenomena amongst Persian Jews living in America. Where the average age of matrimony was in the twenties, the norm has shifted into the 30’s and the occasional 40’s.
Why is this so?
Is it the women’s fault? The men’s fault?
Is it bad? Is it good?
How can we change the trend?
This is your chance to share your thoughts and reasons for the later marriage rate in our community. Feel free to comment with the form below.
The GIRLS in our community are very materialistic where money is the number one priority. How do you expect a college student or recent graduate to afford a house in Beverly Hills and drive BMW or
Benz and not to mention that eye-catching diamond ring that she wants?
-Michael in L.A.
Huh! Why ALWAYS BLAME THE WOMAN. THE MEN are JUST as SHALLOW. Wanting someone YOUNG and Beautiful ALWAYS looking for the PERFECT woman on the outside because the men want to SHOW off how cool they are BECAUSE they have this beautiful woman on their arms REGARDLESS as how this woman IS on the outside. The man could look like a Balding Troll with the Personality of spit and the substance of a Tapeworm but they TOO want the MOST beautiful woman that will look good on their arms. So what do they do Floss and Showboat running into debt trying to buy all these wonderful things. KNOWING that they don’t have it like that. Then when they GET the MOST beautiful girl they find out TOO that even though she looks good on the outside she too has the personality of spit and the substance of a tape worm so after a $300,000+ wedding you are divorced within 6 months to a year. I have seen this happen time and time again ESPECIALLY in the Land of Fruits, nuts, Berries and Flakes being LA LA Land LA.
Again with all these weddings I have not seen anything built around Torah Values? Only what can you do for me and How long will you look good before I kick you to the curb for a younger version of you. It goes BOTH ways not just one. I know people that were dating NON-Jewish women BEFORE They married and they were STILL running around with the same women WHILE he was married and left his WIFE and is NOW living with this NON-Jewish woman. Again no Torah NO Where just all fluff. Then when men get a little older they STILL want a young woman bought this time they are desparate. So they will marry their second choice depending on how much money they have.
IT GOES BOTH WAYS. The men are JUST as Materialistic and shallow. That will not even give a girl a chance if she is not so beautiful on the outside
There are plenty of girls in the community. Just cause you have been hanging out with a group that you think wants diamond rings, don’t generilize for the whole group. I would say that a majority of persian jewish girls want a man who will treat them respectfully and love them more than anything. Get going and fall into the right crowds, you will find someone, b’h’
I wish I knew the Persian equivalent, but in English it goes like this:
‘WE WANT OUR CAKE, AND WE WANT TO EAT IT TOO!’
We want to take advantage of EVERYTHING that is there to have: higher education, successful career, wealth, beauty, popularity … not realizing that 1) we can’t have it all anyway, 2) what we manage to get does come at a price; to become a lawyer, doctor, businessman takes years of hard work and dedication to develop, so one has to put marriage on the side till one has perfected him/herself. I am not advocating mediocrity, just pointing out that there is a price. There are those who rather tone down material ambitions for more spiritual pursuits such as becoming a full-time mom in their twenties and creating loving, thinking and happy children. So, what do we need in our community? Massive Torah education to create a paradigm shift in the assessment of our values to recognize what is important and eternal. I sound omol, but then again …
-jewish +/- irani (http://jewishirani.blogspot.com/ )
Late marriages are a topic many people seem to have an opinion on. Most people believing that their position is accurate on why it is that the age at which people choose to settle down and commit has shifted to an “older” age. When did this phenomenon come to be? Who to blame? The parents? The girls? The boys? The truth of the matter is that it is many different factors put together. It is very important to take into account that the generation we are in right now is a generation in which the people that are of “marital age” whether that is in their 20’s or 30’s are first generation AMERICAN-PERSIAN-JEWS. It takes time and patience for an entire community to learn how to incorporate their existing traditions into the traditions of the country they have migrated to.
New marital practices along with religion, and other Persian traditions are just a few of the things that are slowly evolving from the traditional Persian mentality to the American-Persian frame of mind. What that is exactly is in the works and yet to be established. Back in Iran everything was very clear-cut, there was an age where everyone got married, and who you married was more or less laid out for you. Our parents and grandparents didn’t have as many choices as we do, they married, Perisan, Jewish, and probably a Persian-Jew from their hometown. We have to understand that as first generation American-Persian Jews that we have a lot of obstacles coming our way but that there is no need to point fingers and blame. We should look at it as the challenge of our generation, in hopes of conquering it and finding the person we are supposed to be with at the time we are supposed to be with them. Enjoy the journey….
Here’s my view on what a call the ‘unfortunate cycle’ (I was in the cycle till i realized)
The young right minded girls who want to marry early (eg. 18-26) want young men their own age. But those fellows are having fun at parties and clubs and drinking and eyes on lots of non-jewish bodies. Those guys eventually turn into their mid-30s, and realize they are done parting, and white girls dont usually go for bald persians, so they want to marry. What do they want? young girls in the 20s, not their 30 year old companions. But young girls (usually)
are not into older 30 year old men (some are). Therefore both males and females get older and older and niether one doesnt realize if they just meet each other sooner, they will most likely share some of their most beautiful and younger years with each other.
Obvisouly this is a generaliztion, but a good one. Ive seen it, Ive been in it, and tried to talk people out of it.
hmmm.. There is not a simple answer. There are many reasons why people get married later. I think now days most guys and girls go to school and then get advanced degrees beyond a four year bachelor degree. To do this you have to sacrafice dating and serious relationships until you are done with your education. I know personally that was the case for me. However I do also believe that both guys and girls in our community have also become shallow and tend to focus on the wrong attributes when they are ready for marriage which tends to delay marriage even further. Many girls put too much focus on money and status (being a dr.’s wife for example) but at the same time I agree with Almaz and others above that guys also are looking for young, beautiful, skinny girls without caring too much about the more important attributes such as personality,ethics, morals, etc. Unfortunately I know one too many single persian guys who are in their mid or even late thirties who claim that they will never seriously consider a girl for marriage once she has hit ’30’, or date a girl that is more than a size 6. Unfortunately when it comes to marriage a lot of our values are in the wrong place.
I don’t agree with some of the comments here. It is possible to find some girls that are not materialistic, and are willing to settle down with a guy who has just graduated from college, or is still in college. She knows she won’t be living in Beverly Hills, or have a nice car. She knows she will have to live with a budget. She knows the hardship will only last 4 or 5 years, until her husband graduates and starts his career. The problem is Persian parents. They want their daughter to marry a millionaire, because they believe that is the only way she will be happy. Just like the song says.. ‘yek dokhtar daram shah nadareh…be kas kasoonesh nemeedam, be hamekasoonesh nemeedam…’ They manage to convice their daughter that the guy she is dating is the scum of the earth, and persuade her to break up with him, and go out with a doctor or lawyer instead. Sad what are community is coming to. Everything in this world is bashert, or ghesmat, or fate…but Persian parents don’t understand that sometimes.
The blame is not any gender in particular; it is where our values lie. As young Jews, if we have our focus on marriage at a younger, age we have enough avenues to find the acceptable mate. If you feel that as a man your not monetarily prepared for marriage are you feeling this because of what you would like to provide or what someone is telling you they need. What do we define as a necessity for marriage, unfortunately more and more it seems what we are acquiring in a marriage is viewed on the level of physicality and not one of spirituality. I feel very strongly if we look for kindness, understanding, the real basis of an Iranian Jewish home and communicate what we want we can find someone with common goals. If you feel your parents are making the decisions hers or his the person is not making decisions by themselves for what they value as a mate,, this shows someone who is not mature enough to make a decision as important as picking a mate they are more than likely not ready for marriage, where many decisions will be made by the partners the parents will not live with the spouse. If they wont choose you because of monetary reasons don’t be insulted be happy you know this and that you do not match their goals and your goals are different for life so you know that you are not compatible.
We should not blame either side or any one reason, we should look at ourselves see what it is we want and make an active decision to find it. The world is made up of different people, who have very different goals. In today’s day and age…careers, incomes, image all pre-occupy our minds.. but remember these are not inheritable characteristics for your children.. we owe it to our children to think much more deeply. I wish we all find someone whom we can build an amazing home filled with khesed.
The problem is really too complex to really pinpoint who is at fault. But as a guy I will be more biased on placing the blame on the girls. As opposed to the American Jews, most Persian girls in college or graduate school do not really date for marriage. They will have friends who they will hang out with for years but nothing serious. As far as the guys, it’s true– they are putting too much time on their career before marriage. How do we solve the problem? As Mark Twain once said, I never let my schooling interfere with my education.
Yes a lot of Persian and even Non Persian Jews want that for their daughters. Thinking that being with a rich man will bring her happiness and security. Think again. If the man is already rich when you married him Guess what THAT is HIS money NOT yours. And there is nothing worse than being with a man that is NOT kind but rich. Who says being rich and living in Berverly Hills makes a man a great husband. I know PLENTY that are rich living in Beverly Hills but have Mistresses on the side. Sometimes the wife knows about it. A LOT of them know about it. But because of the lifestyle that they have become VERY much accustomed too and do NOT wish to give that up. They would rather deal with this nonsense and humilation rather than give up the Beverly Hills lifestyle. There are a lot of unhappy people in our community. But because of the family pressure, Society pressures and whatnot some people are just too cowardly to do something different because they are afraid of what OTHER people are going to say and the REAL ONE you should be worried about is Hashem
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