I’ll never get used to how people react, knowing that this seemingly normal man standing before them, Jewish.
My great-grandmother’s name was Sarah Slachevsky, she was born in Elizabeth, where is now Ukraine. Great-grandfather’s name was Mordechai Axelrod, he was born in Vilna, in what is now Lithuania. Further genealogical family tree sparkle with names like Moishe, Chaya, Alex and Sonja.
My maternal grandmother, Selena Axelrod has Winsnes (Selena Axelrod Winsnes) was born and raised in new York and Michigan. We had many conversations with her and she told me how she —as an adult — was contrition for the shame she, as a young girl in new York, he had in connection with his Jewishness. She was annoyed that her parents were worldly people, and that therefore were outside the Jewish environment, while the attitude of society in General she experienced anti-Semitism.
Especially well I remember our conversation in the summer of 2013, when the grandmother admitted that in his youth and she was an anti-Semite, and said that can not stand the name of his brother Murray. It was by ear too Jewish, so my grandmother kept calling him Mike.
As their older grandmother learned to love their Jewishness. That day when she left forever, she said that she was sorry that she had not retained its Yiddish, and that she found out more about the fate that befell her family during the 2nd world war.
Personal Jewish identity
Grandma always concerned with the question of what is tradition and culture must live on, however, she made it clear that we, the grandchildren themselves have to determine who we are. For example, the Jews if you want.
I want to, but it is incredibly difficult to explain what it means for me to be Jewish. My Jewishness is somewhere in the stomach, in the spine and blood. My Jewishness is my grandmother. It’s Hanukkah and Torah, challah and latkes, Klezmer and “Fiddler on the roof”. This Vilnius and my great-grandfather, who sewed gloves. To feel it yourself, without having to explain it otherwise. And if there is a need for this?
The reaction of friends
Not to say that my Jewishness is a big part of my everyday life, but it manifests itself regularly.
It is evident when talking about the Holocaust, it does, when I read about other Jews experiencing anti-Semitism.
It manifested itself when I spat on your Shoe when I got out of the bus № 20, after two men heavy eyes looked at my mogendovidom on the neck all the way from the bus stop “Stadium ullevaal Stadion” and to stop “Saguenay”. Maybe it was a Fluke, but then I do not think so. The feeling I felt then returned now, two years later, when I think about it.
This feeling came again when my buddy made a monologue about how the Jews run the world in General, and especially the US.
It appears that I have to refute the old conspiracy theories about the eternally greedy Jew, and when I have to take responsibility for killed Palestinian children.
When friends and acquaintances, despite the fact that I almost always wear it on the neck mogendovidom, and the fact that I and Jewish cookbooks, candlesticks, come as a shock to learn that I’m Jewish, so my Jewish identity comes to the surface.
In such cases, I really want to stand up for themselves. And to stand up for what is part of my being, because I need you to recognize it’s a part of me — not requiring any other explanation.
When my party asked: “And you wear this star, because you’re Jewish, or for some other unknown reason?”, I want to howl. You asked the same question to the person who wears around his neck the cross? I could tell you about an elderly man at a restaurant in Grünerløkka (Grünerløkka — Oslo, approx. ed.) that one day when I was in town looked me in the eye and said, “Three things I hate. Muslims, blacks and Jews,” but this is not necessary. Is to be a Jew — something so alien?
Many can relate to the examples that I mention, as something harmless and generally how stuff. However, we cannot ignore the fact that such memories is based on the fact that the word “Jew” is still associated with what is outside the norm.
I wouldn’t be
If I was born elsewhere or 80 years before me, in all probability, will not be. I would have been killed. More than 60% of the 9.5 million Jewish population of Europe was destroyed in
It’s kind of a sick thought, but she still lives in me. I have it. If great-grandfather moved from Vilna, where more than 90% of the Jewish population were killed in 1940-1944 years. If grandpa from my mother was not involved in the Resistance here in Norway. If Germany had not lost the war. If my mother’s parents moved not in Rehlingen (Rælingen is a municipality in the County of Akershus in Norway — approx. ed.), and in Vienna, Paris or Prague.
I’m not religious and has nothing to do with the synagogue. I grew up on the hill directly opposite the bridge in lillestrøm, but (Lillestrøm — a town in the Norwegian province of Akershus, located 18 km from Oslo, approx. ed.) went into regular kindergarten and school. To us every year to come Santa Claus, and every 17th of May (Norway’s national day./Denby of the Constitution, when children traditionally, eating sausages and ice cream — approx. ed.) I eat a lot of sausages, so that I began to feel sick. And Jewish education in me no, except for the fact that we celebrated Hanukkah when I was little, and that one day, we were invited to the carnival in the synagogue. Grandma, mom’s mom, gave us a little bit of their Jewishness, but it’s always been our thing to decide who we are. Jews or not. My mother does not adhere to Jewish rituals, and her father, my grandfather, and dad — not the Jews. And still: the blood that flows in my veins, the Jewish. I from head to toe, the granddaughter of his grandmother from his mother’s side, with the identity and the feelings that are associated with it.
I mogendovidom, which got from my grandmother and I were desperately clinging to the gates of the synagogue in Oslo after the terrorist attacks in Paris and Copenhagen. There I am in the middle of the day loudly cried in front of the Prime Minister and police with guns.
We are few
You should not ask the Jews a question about how do we mogendovidom to provoke or for some other unknown reasons. Should we get rid of the answers in the spirit: Yes, I am a Jew, no matter how incredibly strange it may seem to you. I should be able to tell you about my grandmother on my mother’s side, not defending Israel’s actions, and to expect understanding when such terrorist attacks in Paris and Copenhagen, perceive as an attack on you personally.
During the 2nd world war from Norway were deported 772 Jews. Survived only 34. Today, Norway is home to less than 1500 Jews. We are few, and in order to hurt us, don’t need a lot of anti-Semitism.
We must never forget. Never.