What I am doing is changing the melody of one simple sentence, which is: ‘I am a Jew.’
The sentence has two possible melodies.
One is the tune of: ‘I have an inherited disease.’
The meaning is: ‘I’m not guilty, I didn’t do anything. I acquired it.
I try as much as I can to hide it.
And if I have a way of getting rid of it, though I probably cannot, I will try.’
The other is to sing ‘I am a Jew’ in the same way you’d sing:
‘I am a royal prince – it’s not my doing, I inherited it.’
The point lies in what your attitude is towards this inheritance.”
–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz