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"What Political Party are You?" -Georgetown question too open-ended and common app doesn't fit

rsrag 1 / 2 1  
Jan 7, 2019   #1

words which you feel best describes you

Hi everyone, I've never used this before but need to submit my Georgetown application Thursday and am looking for some feedback. I am trying to reuse an essay but I'm not sure how well it describes me. I also talk a lot about my religion so Idk how that would look for a jesuit school. Thanks.

Here is the prompt: As Georgetown is a diverse community, the Admissions Committee would like to know more about you in your own words. Please submit a brief essay, either personal or creative, which you feel best describes you.

I still remember the shock I experienced when looking at the results of a "What Political Party are You?" quiz that I took in my 10th grade AP Government class. I had never considered myself as a person with radical ideals, but I scored at the far left of the political spectrum. It was at that moment that I was forced to see the obvious disparity between my religion and my political viewpoints. As a Modern Orthodox Jew, many aspects of my life are informed by my religion, which often conflict with my liberal ideologies. According to the Pew Research Center, white evangelical Protestants and Mormons are the only other religious groups which are as consistently conservative and right-leaning as Orthodox Jews. I was left to ask myself what motivated my politically liberal viewpoint, and how I could reconcile it with my Orthodox Jewish identity.

It seemed that my life was characterized by this complex balance of my religious and personal perspectives of the world around me. I experienced tension between these two perspectives while on a trip to Israel; I consider it my ancestral homeland, yet cannot ignore the current political climate of the region. It is a highly-disputed territory with two conflicting sides that may never find a compromise. While on this trip, I spent three days with the Israeli army, listening to the double standard to which Israeli soldiers are held, unable to shoot obvious threats to security for fear of public uproar. I then returned home and walked through the university only a block away from my home, and I heard protestors campaigning against my homeland, which they don't see as beautiful and honest, but rather a country that does not merit existence and must be "returned."

In addition to contrasting perspectives regarding political issues, the coexistence of my Orthodox Jewish and liberal perspectives is challenged by a variety of social issues. I read in the Torah, the Jewish bible, how life is a gift and must not be wasted, and then watch women whose lives are torn apart because they did not choose motherhood. These contradictions Seeing the world through a religious lens, while maintaining awareness of the nuance of social and political issues, can sometimes feel impossible.

As I sat looking at the results of the AP Government quiz, I realized that in order to reconcile these contradictory viewpoints I needed to get to the root of my ideals. Instead of seeing my values as incompatible, I chose to see each viewpoint as an equal contributor to a broader, more nuanced perspective. I took a Jewish history class at my school which connected science to Judaism, helping to explain the discrepancies that I once saw. I talked to my Rabbi, my parents, and my teachers, looking to them for potential answers. I came to realize that the key to synthesizing my religious and secular perspectives lies in a key characteristic of Judaism - it has never been forced on others. Our core values include being strong as an individual and a community. This distinction makes all the difference: as an individual I hold myself to certain standards, but I believe in personal choice and my political views reflect that. While this idea may not solve all of my questions, it does point me towards a solution. I believe that the modern world can not only coexist with my religion, but aid my understanding as I slowly unveil the confusing idiosyncrasies that I encounter.

Holt - / 7,532 2001  
Jan 8, 2019   #2
Wow! I have never read such a sincere, heartfelt, and educational personal essay such as this ever at this forum. Good job Rachel! You have successfully educated the reader regarding several key points in this essay, all of which helped to deliver a better understanding of not only your personality, but your background as well. The key points you delivered which helped in explaining your political and religious beliefs are:

1. The idea that one can be both Jewish and Liberal. Yes, you have proven that there is a possibility for compromise in your essay.
2. A simple explanation of what your religion means to you and how it is applied to your life and political considerations.
3. The realization that you are still evolving as a person, learning more about your religion, and finding the middle ground where all of these opposing points of view just might find a unique home in your personality and character traits.

You have written a well rounded essay that you should be proud to submit with your application. I am sure the reviewer will finish reading your essay and find himself informed about you, Judaism, and liberal ideologies in more ways than one.

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