minutia press.

It's been suggested that the word "Jew" is typically used derogatorially, so I thought I would post some things about this.

Usually, when describing the general religious beliefs of another Red Sea Pedestrian, I and others of my ilk would use the term "Jewish".

I've always thought of that term as a little peculiar. After all, we don't call followers of Christ "Christish" or "Christianish". The term "Jewish" seems to describe somebody on his or her way to Jew but who isn't quite there yet.

So back to the word "Jew". I can't think of a time I would use the word, except with another adjective in front of it, as in "He is an Orthodox Jew" of "She is a Reform jew" or "I am a recovering Jew (just kidding)". Observant Jew, Jew-by-Choice, the list goes on.

In the above cases, I can't see any harm intended by the term. Of course there are adjectives that can preface the term "Jew" that are not so nice, so of course the term can become derogatory. But when I hear the word "Jew" my first reaction doesn't involve a cringe.

A funny thing. One of the highest compliments a Jew gives to a person is to call that person a "Mensch" which in Yiddish (and from German) simply means "human". But it implies the very best of human characteristics.