"Except for the point, the still point, there would be no dance, and there is only the dance." ~ T.S. Eliot in "Burnt Norton"

Saturday, December 10, 2011

"Look, Tina, I guess, in a sense, we're rebels."

My mom told me that yesterday.

I was telling her a story about how I unfriended her brother, my uncle, on Facebook. It all started because I posted a news story about PSAs by the state of Israel encouraging native born Israeli's not to marry American Jews. I was offended and upset and had a lot of questions. How can the State of Israel ask my country for money and then tell it's own citizens that they should have nothing to do with us Americans because we're not Jewish enough? I posted: If I'm not Jewish enough then my money's not green enough. Take that, Israel!

That's how it started. It ended with my uncle not reading the post, but being very condescending and judgmental about my attitude about being Jewish. Just because somebody does something with which I don't agree, I withdraw support? Um, yes. Yes, exactly. He didn't see the connection I saw, after being indoctrinated into the Jewish Religion via Hebrew school that proffered "Never Again!"-- which was: how can Israel not see that this is exactly the same kind of suggestion the Nazi's made to the Germans? Honestly... how? He saw something that made more sense for a 75-year-old: support Israel because it must be a safe haven for displaced people. A view that doesn't entirely make a whole lot of sense anymore.

Worried I'd offended my mom, I called her: "I just unfriended your brother on Facebook." Her response, which shouldn't have surprised me at all (knowing my mom): so? He probably deserved it. Respectfully, she reminded me that he's a bit of a unique character. He doesn't intellectualize like we do, she said, and he takes things as fact and doesn't ask questions. Understanding this stance was something difficult for him, so don't take it personally. I told her about the Israeli PSAs and how they upset me and she reminded me about her stance. "You know I have a problem with the ultra-Orthodox!" I had forgotten in all of her brother's hardlining, that she's actually a pretty progressive lady.

Here is an interview with Douglas Rushkoff. It's basically how I feel about being Jewish. And apparently, my mom, too!

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