David Debow

Fly the flag

Fly the flag. (via Facebook)

Friends and family are asking how to help. Here is what I told them:

Fly the flag because it is difficult, and we need to practice doing difficult things.

Fly the flag like a cowboy hat on a stick. Poke it up above the rocks and watch where the bullets are coming from.

Fly the flag like a stake in the ground. Like you are not moving. Like you have put yourself somewhere, beyond the middle ground. Tell people where you stand, like you have skin in the game.

Fly the flag like pride. Because it is time for Zionists to come out of the closet. Like it’s not healthy to hold your breath so long and hide from fear or shame of what people might say.

Fly the flag like bait, like a flute in the hands of a boy from Hamelin. Antisemites are rats. They hide in holes, in sewers and do their damage at night, in small groups, gnawing away until we all become untied. Before you can get rid of them, you have to smoke them out and then dance them off, to the sound of a flute, somewhere far away.

Fly the flag like a tattoo so when you forget why we did this, how we got here, and why we still need to fight, you have something to remind you. Like a contract that keeps you going to work even after it gets boring, or starts getting nasty but it is the job you signed up for and you are committed. Like a wedding ring, so when people start flirting with you, you can remind them, and yourself, you’re taken.

Fly a real flag. The kind that gets wet in the rain, fades with the sun and frays at the edges. The kind that gets captured and it hurts when it does. Fly it near your real windows, the kind that gets broken. Not a digital flag that can be replaced and copied and pasted and looks the same as everybody else. That comes cheap and leaves cheap. Fly a real flag. Because it is a difficult thing to do.

About the Author
David Debow was raised in a sweet Jewish home in suburban Toronto and has always followed a spiritual path. He studied at Yeshiva University, Yeshivat HaMivtar and five years at Yeshivat Har Etzion. He taught in Cleveland, Ohio and has spent the past decade and a half creating and directing Midreshet Emunah v'Omanut - a unique Seminary dedicated to integrating Torah and the Arts. After sending off the final cohort of EVO students at the end of 5782 David spends his time at home, playing with his children and grandchildren while trying to edit Jewish publications for Koren.
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