Those French Anti-Semitism Rioters Blues

Original name for this post was going to be Too Much News Blues, but then I saw this  headline.

France’s Jews Flee As Rioters Burn Shops, Attack Synagogue


” I’d hate to add  France to the  No Fly Zone,” I say.

Alarmed, Scarlett, my lifestyle consultant, looks up from this Month’s issue of Elle.

“ You can’t write off a whole country just because of some hooligans,” she  says

I don’t want Mr. Greenberg to be proved right.   He taught Sunday School  at Larchmont Temple.  Anti-Semitism was the whole point of Western Civilization, he said, the fulcrum, the foundation, the essential characteristic.  Assimilation? Hah! Look at what happened to the German Jews.

Don’t get  comfortable  was his message. Don’t trust the goyim. It could happen here.

I knew  he was dead wrong about America.  Anti-Semitism was a side show, a mere bagatelle compared to slavery and genocide of Native Americans. But Europe?

I don’t want to retreat into Defensive Tribalism.

I don’t want to live in fear.

I hesitate before signing a petition.  I make a small donation to J Street.   Self-hating Jew? How could I not be proud to belong to a people who gave us Shecky Green, Rosa Luxemberg, and half of Karl Marx?

History repeats itself, second time as farce, according to Karl Marx.  The difference between a race riot and a pogrom is the degree of state sanction—it’s not Kristallnacht, I remind myself, but maybe an early warning?

“Whatcha gonna do?” says Memphis Earlene with a shrug. “Things are tough all over. Look at the Ukraine.”

Land of the ancestors, hers and mine.

Memphis Earlene’s people were the ones who turned down the chance to embrace one of the three great monotheisms and stuck to pagan ways.

“What’s so great about Monotheism?” she says.

“Give me an hour, I’ll come up with something,” I say.

But I haven’t.







This entry was posted in Blues, France, Jews, Religion and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Those French Anti-Semitism Rioters Blues

  1. Brilliant Judith. It reminds me of some of the things Thomas Berger said about why he writes which I just read in his obit in the NYT. Thank you.

  2. Memphis Earlene’s closing question gets us to the heart of things – as is her way.

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