Kaddish everywhere.

“It’s different this year. Every year it’s sad, but this year, it feels different, like, I get it now, you know?”

From the mouths of Israeli teens.

I’m 41. I’ve been never-forgetting my entire life. I saw these images and watched these videos and heard these testimonies from Holocaust survivors standing in front of me – peeked at their forearms – from the time my formal education began.

I’m 41 and I grew up at one of the most comfortable, luxurious times to be a Jew in the liberal West; I grew up in the home away from home, New York City. I grew up hearing about antisemitism from my parents and kinda sorta rolling my eyes; c’mon, now really? Here? Now?

I’m 41 and I was a campus activist during the Second Intifada, doing what I had to do, talking, postering, explaining, op-eding. People threw the word around, but I never took it seriously; it was too often posturing.

I’m 41 and this is the year I finally get it. This is the year it feels different, like, I get it now. I know what antisemitism is.

Kaddish is always the opener. HaTikvah always the closer. This year, the Kaddish just keeps rolling in. Kaddish, kaddish, mourners’ kaddish.

It’s the first time the Kaddish hit me harder than the optimistic closer.





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