Zach: RACHEL! SARAH! REBECCA!
Jacob: Guess she's not Jewish.
i grew up listening to my mom tell me crazy storeis about her cousin, Carmela.
when i met her, she was just as crazy as i imagined, just as loud, and just as gaudy.
mizrahi as they go, she wanted her kids to be around ashkenazim, and made a membership at a country club she referred to as “ha-country.” because bourgeois dreams of childhood die hard.
"Sneaking you in won’t be a problem" she said to me, "but they’ll be tougher" she said pointing to my sister - one naturally dark, the other easily tanned.
one day she stormed into my grandma’s house, looked at me and my mother, and said “you two need a change in scenery.” then lugged us and our things to her house.
well, i should say home, not house.
I’m going to be frank: she lived in the projects with her two sons. One bedroom, and one broken bathroom.
"Natty, you’re sleeping in your friend’s house tonight, your aunt Yaffa is here," she said, only half in jest.
But what really took me back was this: she slept on her son’s bed, and had her sons sleep two to a bed, as me and my mother slept on her bed: the sofa-bed, in the living room.
"wow, mama," I said as we left, "I would have been embarrassed to invite people over, but she didn’t care, she just wanted to give something to us."
last time i went home i showed my mother the bottoms of my feet.
the bottoms covered in callouses.
she said it was good, a family heirloom from the maghreb. “our soles toughen easily because we have to walk deserts barefoot.”
I look for your face in everyone’s face. Maybe it’s because I forgot what you look like, and I’m hoping if I look at the face of every single passerby, I will see you, and you will remember me, and then I could tell you what I wanted to tell you.
There is someone who works at the corner desk in the library. He gets up and goes back to his desk and gets up and comes back. And every time I get a glimpse I hope its you. But I don’t think I’d be able to recognize you anyway.
Sometimes when I’m not wearing my glasses, I rush to put them on. I can’t recognize faces when I’m blind, and I am scared of not catching yours in the hundreds of people I walk past everyday. I think of all the times I could be seeing you(when I am not seeing you) in people’s faces (because maybe you’re hiding from me in them) and I get a little nervous. I don’t want you to just pass me by.
Robbie: That probably means a few guys getting drunk on a couch 3 days a week.
I had forgotten
that our people smash glasses
(not behind closed doors
and out of anger, but—)
in front of an audience and out of happiness;
that it means: we are fragile,
our joy must be tempered,
we promise to try
to repair the pieces of this glass
that symbolizes the broken vessels
of the world
I am fragile,
my joy must be tempered,
and I promise to try
to repair the pieces
of the broken vessels
of the world
I’ve been seeing a lot of this nonsense in the Jumblr community, and I have a few points to make:
- You’re perpetuating the idea that there is something impure about Jewish or goyish blood. If you’re doing the former, you’re an antisemite, if you’re doing the latter you’re making Jews look bad and doing chilul hashem.
- Nazis killed patrilineal Jews, they didn’t give a shit about halakha (see: Jews drink the blood of gentile children, see: kashrut)
- This is why even patrilineal Jews get birthright and easy citizenship to Israel: in the eyes of goyim, they’re Jewish. They deserve asylum.
- Matrilineal Jews are 100% halakhically Jewish. They’re not “half-Jews,” they’re Jews.
"You know I started working when I was ten, right?" yes I do. "And your mother too, all nine of us, your mom and I used to steal your grandma’s bras then fill them with socks so we would look older, because no one would hire a ten year old to clean the house." I heard this story, the socks fell out, or the woman knew and embarrassed them, I had out laughed this piece of history.
"Anyhow, I would scrub the floors of Yitzhak Perlman’s house." what? "Yes, and his mother would always tell me about him and how proud she was." I looked up at her, my mom never told me this story. "But we were so poor I didn’t even know what I violin was, I just wanted the ashkenazit lady to shut up about her son in America and pay me."