Je Suis Juif. I Am Jewish.

Golden Star of David

“Journalists were killed because they defended freedom. Policemen were killed because they were protecting you. Jews were killed because they were Jewish.” ~Prime Minister of France, Manuel Valls

Journalists – defending.

Policemen – protecting.

Jews – because they were Jewish.

Because they were Jewish. I am Jewish.

Growing up I didn’t think much about my identity as a Jew. I spent my Sundays in a Protestant church. Although, when I was younger, I experienced anti-Semitism on a couple of occasions. Both times the words, “You don’t look like a Jew” were used against me. I didn’t even understand what those words meant. What do Jews “look like”? And how do I not look like one?

On the first occasion, I was wearing a Star of David necklace for the first time. I wore it because I thought it was pretty. Nothing deeper than that – just pretty. The owner of the market I visited almost every morning before work didn’t think it was pretty. He yanked it off my neck and slammed it on the counter. I did nothing, except not return to the market.

Second time, a boy I was dating for over a month, kicked me out of his car when I mentioned off-hand that I was Jewish. I did nothing, just stood on the street waiting for my sister to pick me up.

I didn’t spend much time thinking about the injustice and prejudice I experienced. What I did do was stop telling people I was Jewish. Apparently, that was the problem. The problem was mine, not theirs. I didn’t look Jewish, so why tell people?

I’m older now and not the same girl who solved her “problem” by hiding her truth.

I am Jewish. Je suis Juif.

As anti-Semitism is on the rise… it IS on the rise. We all see it. Some care, a lot don’t. When Jews are being killed for no other reason than they are Jews, we must stand up. We must not hide. NEVER FORGET.

I still don’t practice the Jewish religion, but I Am Jewish. I will never again hide that simple fact. As the hate rises, my pride rises, too. I feel, the very least I can do, is stand up with pride and solidarity and say, “I am Jewish” and I’m with you. Does it matter? Probably not. But, I won’t hide. Ever.

So, as we all mourn the loss of the cartoonists defending freedom. The policeman protecting the people. Take a moment to also send a thought and prayer to the people who died for no other reason than they were Jews. They were simply Jews. Like me.

“In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness, I hear the ever approaching thunder, which will destroy us too, I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.” ~ Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

About Jody

Jody is a graphic designer, doodler, reader, lover of dogs and the Los Angeles Dodgers. She runs a popular print on demand site The Whimsy Doodle Shop and can usually be found doodling new design ideas on scraps of paper. Jody lives in LA with her husband and two rambunctious dachshunds.
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6 Responses to Je Suis Juif. I Am Jewish.

  1. Gil Arde says:

    Someone actually yanked your star off and another kicked you out of the car? I’m sad for you. Your motto should be Je Suis Beauty.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jeff says:

    I love your openess Jody!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Perk Burnett says:

    Excellent Jody. Perk aka SSD

    Liked by 1 person

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