Debra Darvickenhance your now in word and image
Because it’s time to reclaim the word that defines my co-religionists and me. The derogation and hatred embedded in the word “Jew” is so deep and so old that we Jews, more often than not, self-identify as Jewish not Jew. In naming this page J-E-W, I reclaim the word even as it discomfits me. The dashes signal that space for reclamation. The dashes signal to every Jew that the spaces are ours to fill, ours to define. It is for us to imbue the word with all that Jews strive for, and were commanded to be, since Moses stood on Mount Sinai.
I wager at least some of my Jewish readers may have looked at the yellow star of the daffodil’s back and seen another kind of yellow star, the kind Jews were forced to wear in a past that is never too distant.
We have just finished a cycle of three modern Jewish holidays collectively called the Yamim (plural for days): Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), Yom HaZikaron (a day memorializing soldiers who lost their lives fighting in the War of Independence and subsequent battles, as well as civilian victims of terrorism), and Yom HaAtzmaut (Independence Day, marking the anniversary of the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948). A fourth, Yom Yerushalayim, celebrates the 1967 reunification of Jerusalem and occurs next month
I looked at this daffodil, the green stem of spine supporting the blossom. It seemed to peer at the patch of sky reflected in the small puddle nearby. I couldn’t help but think of six million murdered Jews who had peered Heavenward on a blue-sky day, and silently screamed , “Why?”
One day, one day, may all humanity look to the blue heavens, spines straight, faces uplifted and none shall be afraid.