“My Father Is Jewish, My Mother Is Jewish, I Am Jewish” – On February 1, 2002, Journalist Daniel Pearl Was Murdered By Islamic Terrorists

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Daniel Pearl lived a short but meaningful life. This Jewish journalist was kidnapped and murdered by extremists while on assignment, and used his final moments to speak words that went down in infamy.

Pearl was born October 10, 1963 in Princeton, New Jersey. He came from a proudly Jewish family—his grandparents emigrated from Poland to Israel to help build the town of Bnai-Brak.

Daniel attended Stanford University, where he showed an early interest in journalism—he helped found the university’s Stanford Commentator. He worked at a series of papers following graduation, growing as a writer on foreign affairs.

Pearl was kidnapped by Pakistani radicals on January 23, 2002, en route to an interview.  Nine days later, on February 1, 2002, Daniel Pearl was beheaded.  by terrorists from Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, an incredibly violent terrorist group in the Pakistani region. Just before he died, he said, “My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I am Jewish.

His execution was videotaped, and his final words, a tribute to his Judaism, have gone on to become a symbolism of Jewish heroism.

His parents decided to honor his memory by asking several hundred Jews to record their reactions to his words-statements that form the core of this book.  Most of the 146 contributors are well-known authors, educators, rabbis, reporters, entertainers and political figures. The length of their statements varies from a sentence or two to essays that cover several pages. Their thoughts are organized around the five basic themes of identity; heritage; covenant, chosenness and faith; humanity; and Tikkun Ha’Olam (repairing the world). The respondents provide anecdotes, theological formulations, personal reactions, biblical references and historical reflections, ranging widely from the superficial to the profound. Among the few Israeli contributors is Avrum Burg, an outspoken critic of the Sharon government and its policies. He argues eloquently that being a Jew places on him a special obligation to work for peace. Others place different constructions on what it means to be Jewish.  Lack of consensus highlights the extreme variations in Jewish views, indicating that one value of this collection is its demonstration that a healthy diversity of opinion continues to characterize the Jewish community – Amazon (from Publishers Weekly; copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of  Reed Elsevier Inc.  All rights reserved).

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Winner of  the 2004  National Jewish Book Award For Anthologies.

Being Jewish. What does it mean—today—and for the future? Listen in as Jews of  all backgrounds reflect, argue, and imagine.

When Wall  Street Journal reporter  Daniel Pearl was brutally murdered in Pakistan,  many Jews were particularly touched by his last words affirming his Jewish identity. Many were moved to reflect on or analyze their feelings toward their lives as Jews.

The saying “two Jews, three opinions” well reflects the Jewish community’s broad range of views on any topic. I Am Jewish captures this richness of interpretation and inspires Jewish people of all backgrounds to reflect upon and take pride in their identity. Contributions, ranging from major essays to a paragraph or a sentence, come from adults as well as young people in the form of personal feelings, statements of theology,  life stories, and historical reflections. Despite the diversity, common denominators shine through clearly and distinctly.

This inspiring collection presents answers from Jewish people around the world—artists, entertainers, government leaders, authors, media personalities, scientists, community organizers, scholars, rabbis, and others—covering the religious, professional, and political spectrum.  They explore:

  • Identity — Our relationship to ourselves, how we define who we are in the most fundamental way.
  • Heritage — Our relationship to family, community, culture, tradition, and our collective history.
  • Covenant, Chosenness, and Faith — Our relationship to G-d, our understanding of the relationship between G-d and the Jewish people, and our understanding of Judaism as a religion.
  • Humanity and Ethnicity — Our relationship to others who are not part of  the Jewish people. How does a sense of particularism relate to the universal themes and teachings of Judaism?
  • Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World) and Justice — Our relationship to the larger world, and what “I am Jewish” means for what we do with our lives as we address our responsibilities in the world.

In this critical time in our history, I Am Jewish will motivate people throughout the Jewish community to think about their lives as Jews, and have a profound effect on the way younger Jews shape their identity in years to come. It will help people of all faiths and backgrounds to better understand Jewish people and Judaism.

Contributors include:  Ehud Barak, Sylvia Boorstein, Edgar M. Bronfman, Alan Colmes, Alan Dershowitz, Kirk Douglas,  Richard Dreyfuss, Kitty Dukakis, Dianne Feinstein, Tovah Feldshuh, Debbie Friedman, Milton Friedman, Thomas L. Friedman,  Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Nadine Gordimer, David Hartman, Moshe Katsav, Larry King, Francine Klagsbrun,  Harold Kushner, Lawrence Kushner,  Shia LaBeouf,  Norman Lamm,  Norman Lear, Julius Lester, Bernard-Henri Lévy,   Bernard Lewis,  Daniel Libeskind, Joe Lieberman, Deborah E. Lipstadt, Joshua Malina, Michael Medved, Ruth W. Messinger, Amos Oz, Cynthia Ozick, Shimon Peres, Martin Peretz, Dennis Prager, Anne Roiphe, Sandy Eisenberg Sasso,  Vidal Sassoon,  Zalman M. Schachter-Shalomi,  Daniel Schorr,  Harold M. Schulweis, Lynn Schusterman,  Natan Sharansky, Gary Shteyngart,  Sarah Silverman, Michael H. Steinhardt,  Kerri Strug,  Lawrence H. Summers,  Mike Wallace,  Elie Wiesel, Leon Wieseltier, Sherwin T. Wine, Ruth R. Wisse, Peter Yarrow, A. B. Yehoshua, Eric H. Yoffie.

Edited and with an introduction by Judea and Ruth Pearl, the parents of the late Daniel Pearl and cofounders of the Daniel Pearl Foundation. The foundations’s mission is to promote cross-cultural understanding through journalism, music, and innovative communications.

“I Am Jewish: Personal Reflections Inspired By The Last Words Of Daniel Pearl – Kindle Edition is available for iPhone,  iPod Touch,  iPad with free Amazon app (download app – here)

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size:  531 KB
Publisher:  Jewish Lights Publishing (December 31, 2003)
Sold by:  Amazon Digital Services
Language:  English
Price: $21.20  (Buy now)

 

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