The man wants to know about our Jewish Irish relatives and I want to answer but I am drawing a blank on the specific details.
I almost say look up Briscoe and Dublin because I have always been told we’re family but that aforementioned blank is there and the men who would fill in the gaps don’t answer the telephone anymore.
We used to kid around about such things and what the dear departed might sound or look like a year or years later.
Dad would always say they probably look like hell and that might be better not to see them. We’d both laugh and the conversation would move on.
It is different now, especially because his birthday is this week and I am sure he’ll take a bigger role in my thoughts.
Never gone but on the verge of celebrating the second birthday without him I find myself picturing the very last time I saw him.
Sometimes it is strange to think I saw both him and my paternal grandfather after they had taken their final breaths but maybe we’ll save that for later.
Maybe I’ll just say I looked at our genea0logy and unless I am mistaken it is a damn good thing our relatives said Goodbye to Europe because the Nazis murdered everyone in our town.
I don’t know if there are relatives who were there and managed to survive. Don’t know if they could share their tale of survival and the horror surrounding it.
Not entirely sure if I have anyone on my mom’s side either.
It wouldn’t surprise me if we did or didn’t.
Sometimes people have asked how that could be and I said if you try hard to imagine what wiping out 6 million people does it makes perfect sense that some lines would be destroyed.
Some stories died at the hands of the murderers and those who bore witness probably didn’t write their stories down or share them in public.
I don’t know if they felt shame and horror for the rest of their lives or if they considered it a highlight of their lives but I hope for the former and not the latter.
I hope they paid for it with their sanity and even that is not enough, sometimes you say in both Hebrew and English (ה׳ יִקּוֹם דָּמוֹ) May G-d avenge their blood because there aren’t enough stones.
Two days ago I tried to politely explain why describing someone as a Zionist Jew in a newspaper article could be seen as antisemitic based upon how it was done.
The term wasn’t used in a friendly and descriptive manner, it read more like the way the Arab league would intentionally refuse to use the name Israel and would spit out “Zionist Entity.”
People fought with me, told me I was wrong and ridiculous. I pointed out that Jeremy Corbyn and his party are under fire for antisemitism and that this term was used in British news and again was ‘poo-poohed.’
Given that is the second or third time folks in this particular group have tried to minimize, ignore and or whitewash antisemitism because they don’t recognize it or aren’t pained by it and I am about ready to walk away.
Sometimes it is you and sometimes it is them.
This time it is them, it is not me.
Given the increase in antisemitic events worldwide I am not going to just ignore the incidents or signs of potential issues.
But I am also not going to bang my head against a wall I can’t tear down.
There are other ways.
Sometimes you have to meet people where they are in life. Sometimes you have to remember you can’t screw an old head on young shoulders and the best description of hope is something as simple as the quote above.
You don’t have to aspire to make exponential changes in the world. You don’t have to cure a terminal illness, invent some life changing device or hold public office.
Sometimes you tell those who are struggling this is all you hope for, that one day they relate to and understand the quote.
If you find that person you call the love of your life, well maybe that is as good as it gets.
Words on a page.
They are words on a page that cite quotes about rings of fire and walking the line.
Words on a page that talk about dreams and ideas, past, present and future.
Sometimes they get updated occasionally and sometimes with greater frequency.
You never know whether those words on a page get released from the cage they are contained in or if they are held back for internal consumption.
There is no pattern to hopes, dreams and ideas–just the illogical and staggered steps of the human mind.