Sarah Tuttle-Singer
A Mermaid in Jerusalem

I’m a Jew: I’ll hold my head up high and my middle finger up higher if I need to

So, I’ve been doing some thinking and I know this is not some new or earth shattering revelation,  but I don’t care.

I’m  going to share:

Jews are always going to be reviled.

For the Antisemite, “the Jew” is whatever they hate.

We are a chimera.

And that makes their hate eternal.

If they hate Communism, we are Communist scum.

If  they hate Capitalism , we are Capitalist scum.

The postmodern universalist Antisemites say we are too particular and too tribal.

The Xenophobes  call us globalists.

For the White supremacists, we will never be White.

For the radical woke, we are TOO White and uphold White  Supremacy.   

But, they all can agree that we are Dirty Jews, no matter what color they imagine us.

They also  love us for a moment when we are the victim — but even that doesn’t last long and it isn’t real love: it’s the kind of pity that’s really just one shade off from disgust, anyway.

And  like always, like clockwork, they all  find a reason to blame us for our own suffering: we are either  too passive and weak – the eternal Ghetto Jew crawling in the gutter  – or we are the constant  Aggressor, the too-powerful  villain who brought it on ourselves.

Every trouble in our world is all our fault. 

We are the scourge of the earth.   

So forgive me if I’m a little edgy  these days — I have to be edgy and sharp to fit  between the cracks in their   delusions about who we are   just to get by.

Forgive me if I’m a little weary, too – and a little self-focused  – I’ll continue to love and reach out to potential allies and friends always … and I’ll think of Rabbi Hillel always:

If I am not for myself then who will be for me?

But if I am only for myself, then what am I?

But I’ll be carrying a thread and needle and extra cloth  to fortify our precious tent, because the world has never forgiven us for having the sheer audacity to survive, and I want us to have a safe place to rest our heads.

If not now, when.

And when I wake up, I’ll hold my head up high.

And my middle finger, higher.

Because I come from a courageous tribe that refuses to just merely  survive:  we thrive. As we have throughout the ages.

Now. Not when.
And always. 

About the Author
Sarah Tuttle-Singer is the author of Jerusalem Drawn and Quartered and the New Media Editor at Times of Israel. She was raised in Venice Beach, California on Yiddish lullabies and Civil Rights anthems, and she now lives in Jerusalem with her 3 kids where she climbs roofs, explores cisterns, opens secret doors, talks to strangers, and writes stories about people — especially taxi drivers. Sarah also speaks before audiences left, right, and center through the Jewish Speakers Bureau, asking them to wrestle with important questions while celebrating their willingness to do so. She loves whisky and tacos and chocolate chip cookies and old maps and foreign coins and discovering new ideas from different perspectives. Sarah is a work in progress.