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Sarah Tuttle-Singer
A Mermaid in Jerusalem
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I’m Jewish. Of course I…

I know I'm afraid to wear my star of David right now, and I know that I'll wear it anyway, because I know this too shall pass
Star of David necklace (image via Shutterstock)

I’m Jewish.

Of course, I think that freckle on your arm might be cancer, and I’ve already told you to call a doctor.

I’m Jewish.

Of course, I have a number for a specialist.

I’m Jewish.

Of course, I’ll come up to random strangers in Jerusalem and tell them they should wear a jacket because there’s a chill in the air.

I’m Jewish.

Of course, I’ll offer you food.
“Nu, why aren’t you eating? You don’t like my recipe? Are you feeling ok? I have a number for a specialist!”

I’m Jewish.

Of course, my Bubbe / Nonna / Grammy / Ayati / Baba/ Manani/ Nagymama/ Bibi / Mémé / Omi / Abuelita/ Teta / Safta makes the best chicken soup

I’m Jewish.

Of course, I watch the movie credits and look for Jewish names.

I’m Jewish.

Of course, if I’m – GD FORBID – shipwrecked on a desert island,  I’ll build not one but two synagogues… one I’ll go to, and one I’ll never set foot in!

I’m Jewish.

Of course, I like to argue and enjoy debating and can understand multiple perspectives. This is part of who we are — the Talmud is literally this.

I’m Jewish.

Of course, I believe in helping others because Tzedakkah is part of the fabric of our identity.

I’m Jewish.

Of course, I take on adversity with a mix of humor and hysteria.

I’m Jewish.

Or course I have a complicated relationship with Gd – just as the patriarch Jacob hugged and wrestled with the Almighty back in the day.

I’m Jewish.

Of course I’m neurotic about random freckles and wearing jackets and having enough food…AND I’m also fearless: I’ll tear the face off of anyone who tries to hurt someone I love, because if I am not for myself then who will be for me… I’ll stand up for my marginalized friends because I know what it’s like to be marginalized…. Even if they don’t stand up for me, I’ll still do what is right… because if I am ONLY for myself then what am I? And I’ll run toward a terror attack and not away from it because I want to help… if not now, when.

I’m Jewish.

Of course, I’m afraid to wear my Jewish star right now …

I’m Jewish.

…And of course, I’ll wear it anyway.

I’m Jewish.

Of course, I’m exhausted…

I’m Jewish.

…And of course, I’ll still insist on choosing life with my arms and heart and soul wide open.

I’m Jewish.

Of course, I’m heartbroken and afraid and angry right now …

I’m Jewish.

… And course I know this too shall pass – we’ve gotten through Pharoh, we will get through this – though we will never forget.

I’m Jewish.

Of course, I know we will continue to survive – no, we will continue to THRIVE, Jewish and proud. Constantly innovating. Constantly challenging. Constantly building and planting and finding ways to celebrate with one another.

Constantly choosing life.

I’m Jewish.

Am Yisrael Chai.

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.
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