nu, what is it like?

being Jewish is having the breath suddenly ripped from your chest upon remembering the pain and suffering of your people’s past, a memory that rips open the barely-healed scabs of the pain of your people’s present.

being Jewish is to live with wounds our tormentors will not allow to heal.

i want to talk to g-d

i want to talk to g-d but loshn kodesh – the language that g-d speaks – hits my heart without passing through my ears.

i want to talk to my ancestors but mame loshn draws more laughs in this place than smiles of recognition.

i ache to speak the languages of my people, languages that taste like the desert and ghettoes, sand and glass, fire and resilience, but instead i speak common tongues like english and french and latin – i feel like crying because they are familiar in a way that my own languages may never be.

what does diasporic sorrow feel like?

what does diasporic sorrow feel like?

it feels like my chest tightening with tears i’m not sure i’ll shed. my throat hurts, a lump is trying to escape from it.

it feels like my body tensing up in wait. i still don’t know what i’m waiting for.

it feels like a constant buzz of anxiety. like the kind i get when i don’t know if i’ve locked my front door, except there’s no home to go to at the end of the day to check.

it feels like the desert. hot. dry. my eyes sting like when sand gets in them.

it feels like confusion. like in the cartoons i used to watch, with a question mark flitting around my head. i can’t even express what i’m confused about, half the time.

it feels like the burst of sadness when i realize that the language my mother spoke to me as a child isn’t a made-up language after all. it’s the language of my people. it’s a language we all used to speak.

it feels like the frustration when my siblings and friends and i share pieces of our histories with each other, trying to make pieces of different puzzles fit together as one. none of us were born complete.

it feels like i am constantly justifying why i am, where i am, who i am, what i am. to the point where i question my own truth.

it feels like it will never get better. i will never know anything.

it feels like i will feel this way forever.

most of us always have, anyway.

passover [submission]

passover (poem) [submission from hamletrash.tumblr.com]

remember when your skin first felt like a

disease, like every pore if you squeezed it

would spit cold cyanide

remember when you were a slave in the house of bondage

remember the blood on your thighs. remember

the plague of boils, the plague of blood,

the plague of cattle disease

(you used to have a toy a

cow with a button on its foot

push the button and its joints buckled

and collapsed)

pretending as you

scrubbed your sheets

that this was the blood of a man you’d killed

remember that spring when god peeled your skin off and ate it like bread

the terror of how your zipped coat

looked when you sat down

the waves and bubbles the zipper made.

like eve under trees

the sudden alien weight of her body

this is the bread of affliction

god spits blood in the river, god

whispers into your bed

kisses your neck full of boils

god in a breath of lice that squirm through

your firstborn’s hair

god bound between your eyes and

upon the doorposts of your houses

god’s blood in the nile

lamb’s blood on the door

cows’ blood in the fields

your blood in the sink

stick your smallest finger in the wine

anonymous submission

“diaspora poem?” [anonymous submission]

some nights when i’m alone, my thoughts run strange:

that my heart is a homeland,

pumping culture and language and identity

through rivers, over mountains.

nearer to my heart are the organs that are strong:

my lungs are my ancestors, receiving the most blood,

next my digestive system is my parents—

not as rich, yet not as poor as me—

because i am housed within my hands and feet.

i am choked by the circulation problems i’ve had since i was born,

and my hands and feet are cold and weak

like my sense of identity

like my connection with eretz yisrael

like my understanding of those other jews.

at which point can the dysfunctional body flourish,

when the heart is a homeland that cannot reach over distances,

when there are far more important places

for that blood to reach?

i want to reach out in the dark for answers,

but my feeble hands clutch at nothing

nothing but the drowning call of diaspora.

Rav Arnold Jacob Wolf quote

I try to walk the road of Judaism. Embedded in that road there are many jewels. One is marked ‘Sabbath’ and one ‘Civil Rights’ and one ‘Kashruth’ and one ‘Honor Your Parents’ and one ‘You Shall Be Holy.’ There are at least 613 of them and they are different shapes and sizes and weights. Some are light and easy for me to pick up, and I pick them up. Some are too deeply embedded for me, so far at least, though I get a little stronger by trying to extricate the jewels as I walk the street. Some, perhaps, I shall never be able to pick up. I believe that God expects me to keep on walking Judaism Street and to carry away whatever I can of its commandments. I do not believe that God expects me to lift what I cannot, nor may I condemn my fellow Jew who may not be able to pick up even as much as I can.

  • Rav Arnold Jacob Wolf

what the world has stolen from us

i honestly don’t know if i will get over the fact that i know nothing, and most likely will never know anything, about my history past the last 3 generations.

where did they live? where did they come from? who were they? what did they do? what were their names? how many of them were there?

i will never be able to answer any of those questions

u murdered my history and u expect me to be complacent when u further try to degrade me and force me to give up the only thing i have left of my ancestry?

remember where you came from

they say “remember where you came from” –

that’s hard to do when the only memories of your home are of broken glass and fire.

i call myself a diasporan

and i am…

but how do i explain that the places i come from

don’t exist anymore?

that the plurality of my heritage doesn’t equal home?

i say that i belong to the desert.

it’s the only answer that makes sense

because nothing really fits.

would u still make jokes?

would u still make jokes if I told u that

for years,

I had nightmares of giant ovens,

showers that choked the life out of me,

lying down next to dirty, sickly, emaciated bodies, some dead, some barely alive, of people I once knew,

digging my own grave: one of millions,

science experiments performed on my body,

tell me:

why is any of this funny to u?

WordPress???

i started this WordPress to have a space to house all of my yiddishkeit works without the extra stuff I also have on my personal tumblr, mostly bc I always want to give out my tumblr for its Jewish content but don’t bc of its personal content

on my personal tumblr I have a large following + community of radical Jews and radicals in general, and we all kinda support each other and its great

but I don’t see the kind of community on here that I do on tumblr, WordPress feels a lot more individualistic?

I don’t know if that’s cause I’ve only had it for like 3 days, but its a bit discouraging

also all the Jewish tags are filled with antisemitism, as they are on tumblr, but on tumblr there’s an alternative Jewish tag that we’ve created that goyim don’t generally post in, so I can find Jewish content without seeing antisemites call for the destruction of the Jewish race…

if anyone reads this and could suggest any blogs to follow that would be a huge help!

as if u knew anything

I wish so much that I could say,

“no one can take your truth away from you”

but the truth is,

that isn’t true.

they take my truth away from me

in small increments

every day.

they make me question myself

my identity

my thoughts

my beliefs.

they tell me that I am not real,

that my reality is a fiction.

I try so hard to hold on to my truth,

but the truth is that I’m afraid

it might already be gone.

all the time

I wonder:

will I ever be able to stop mourning what diaspora has taken from me and my family?

I wonder:

will it ever stop hurting?

I wonder:

will I ever feel whole?

I wonder:

will I ever feel satisfied… will I ever stop searching for that which cannot be reclaimed?

 

ask (from my personal blog)

lungbox.tumblr.com: tevye am i a ba d jew for abandoning my jewishness because everyone around me convinced me i didnt want it. what do i do now. i am so sad and lost and im afraid im not trying hard enough bc i don tknow where to start

friend i have been in the same boat for a long time tbh this tumblr has been a HUGE part of me 1. coming back to my jewishness and 2. establishing/updating a jewish identity that’s my own

i am sad, i am lost, im afraid too. im also excited and ecstatic to grow into what ive come to love. i didnt love my jewishness for a really long time and i didnt understand it and i just wanted to be “normal” ie. white christian.

we all have different stories but we all have a lot of similarities too and thats why i wanted to post this publicly cause since i started this tumblr ive received an alarming number of messages like this

u arent a bad jew bb there is no such thing

i feel like that so often, im a bad jew, im not jewish enough, im whatever…

fuck that

FUCK IT. it isnt easy to be a jew and we need to support each other to make it better – fuck quantifying and qualifying our jewishness. we might be different but we’re jews, and a jew is a jew is a jew. fuck anyone who wants to take that away from us or diminish its importance.

“my identity is not a math problem” is a poem i wrote sort of about this.

all facets of our identity are cumulative and the result of a life-long process… it’s ok to explore and be confused and unsure about our identity ❤

fiddler rant

i really genuinely resent the fact that fiddler, which was a hugely important movie for me and my diasporic sorrow, is such a cultural icon to goyim who know nothing at all about jewishness and often spout antisemitism if not out of maliciousness then out of willfull ignorance

they remember every line in the movie and it means nothing to them but a great musical! it doesnt have to be a stand in for their actual family history, they dont have to watch it and cry bc they wonder if their great-grandparents disowned their children for running away with a goy before they were destroyed by hashoah…