On kids, memorials, and what brings them together.

So it’s come to this: I go to Holocaust memorial services in Israel and all I can think about is how my kids may turn out in this culture.

Well, in the first place, I have yet to be impressed by an Israeli-made Holocaust memorial service. They’ve lacked intensity, empathy and authenticity so far. It seems to feel like an obligation; the yoke of some old Ashkenazi grandparents. I know this because the Yom HaZikaron ceremonies are a lot different. Which is natural and fair: they hit closer to home. Maybe the Holocaust hits closer to home in the diaspora Jewish communities, then.

Anyway, back to the kids: Yeah, I don’t know what to think. Kids here are probably much like kids anywhere, as a general age demographic. You have your snotty ones, your indifferent ones. The ones filled with kindness and friendship. Looking around I see kids in tight jeans standing silently with respect. Then others who shouldn’t be brought to stale Holocaust ceremonies because they can’t handle it; no patience, no context.

Come to think of it, it was much like that back in New York, too. So what is it about kids, then? Are they scary because I no longer am one?

Or is it, like anywhere else, that it comes down to the parents

…And it’s the parents here who scare me more than anything.