Dirty, Money Grabbing, Parasitic Vermin

Dirty money grabbing, parasitic vermin. Hitler should have finished his good work. If it were legal, I would murder every God forsaken kike around me with a Louisville Slugger. But it’s not, so I’ll just keep waiting for the next chance we get.

So, yeah – that’s a message I got last week from a viewer out in cyberspace. Now I’ve known for a while that there are anti-Semites in the world. I even experienced some mild anti-semitism as a kid. But I think a lot of us Jews like to believe that serious anti-semitism, the Hitler-loving kind, is a thing of the past suffered mostly by closed-minded old people. And for any young people that ascribe to those beliefs, well, they’re just uneducated and living in the third world. But the delightful message you see above comes from a twenty-five year old American woman named Becky, who appears to like baseball and on the bright side is a law-abiding citizen.

For anyone who’s uncomfortable with my making light of this message, don’t worry. I’m in no physical danger as I use a fake name, a fake location, and even a body double for anything you’ve seen on my website. In fact, this might not even be me writing this right now…

I can neither confirm nor deny the accuracy of the preceding paragraph, but I will admit that I’ve been known to use humor at times when things are a bit too serious. But now that I’m in a serious mood, let’s get serious. Despite the fact that I, thank God, have always felt very safe and secure in this world, for quite some time now, I’ve had a lurking question in the back of my mind about when it will happen again. The question for me is not “if” but “when” because, unfortunately, as Jewish history has shown us, the trend for the Jewish people seems to be that good times precede bad ones and that nearly every country we’ve ever lived in has either expelled us or…worse. But this disquiet that I feel (and that I think many Jews feel deep down) was actually mentioned in the Torah over 3,000 years ago. In sefer Devarim (also known as the book of Deuteronomy), in a section discussing what life in exile will be like, the Torah says:

Among those nations you shall find no respite, no rest for your foot…You will live in constant suspense. Day and night, you will be terrified, never sure of your existence…Such will be the dread that your heart will feel and the sights that your eyes will see.

Pretty dismal, I know, but don’t worry, there is a happy ending. The Jewish belief is that this exile won’t last forever because at some point in the future (we don’t get to know when, much to my chagrin) there will be Utopian, peaceful days (called Y’mos HaMoshiach), and all this irrational hatred will be a thing of the past. Now these Messianic times that I’m describing here are definitely one of the more challenging aspects of Jewish belief as many of us are too jaded to think that everything will just end up “happily ever after.” But there’s good news for even the jadedest readers out there

There are two ways that Y’mos HaMoshiach can come about. In the first scenario, these Utopian days will be ushered in only because things have gotten so uncontrollably bad that Y’mos HaMoshiach have to come, lest the world literally destroy itself. (See — nothing cheery about that.) In the second scenario, the one that I prefer, these Utopian times come in because we, the people, work hard on bringing them ourselves – through kindness to our fellow human beings and through connecting back to our heritage.

Since this Y’mos HaMoshiach business is more a point of faith than a point of science, I’m aware of the fact that we can’t know for certain these days will come until they do. But since little ole’ Becky is out there practicing swinging her baseball bat, I’m right here (at an undisclosed location) practicing my acts of kindness and Jewish connectivity. Here’s to hoping – and praying – that our team comes in first next time.

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  1. Why would someone who hate Jews read Jewish sites in the first place. Hatred is only based in one’s own fear and insecurity. If it wasn’t, someone who disliked Jewish people would simply stay away.
    The only reason that makes any sense as to address the unparalleled hatred we have always experienced is that along with the knowledge of God in this world, we have brought accountability of one’s actions and the concept of a moral and ethical code.

  2. Becky feels threatened because you are breaking down the stereotypes and you actually making sense! Her world is crumbling. Better to get rid of all of us than face that fact.

  3. It’s interesting, because I feel that living in America, we feel very disconnected from this part of galus. At least I do. I’m comfortable in all of my daily errands. Occasionally, if I’m going to an out-of-the-way location, I’ll just pop on a sheitel and “blend in” a little more (well, unless it’s August).

    However, I think that on the spiritual side, we feel this more. With most everyone worrying about how to keep their kids “on the derech,” it’s more of a spiritual uncertainty that we are facing.

  4. I hope you reported this to the authorities!

    Be safe and Shabbat Shalom from Oregon!

  5. Great post, A. What strikes me is that “Becky” is usually a nickname for “Rebecca.” I wonder if Becks knows that she has a Jewish name. 🙂

    On a more serious note, I remember after the horrific murders in Toulouse, the Rabbi’s widow asked everyone to light their Shabbat candles a bit earlier to bring more light into the world. I’ll be doing that again tonight, to combat the darkness from people like Becky and the terrorists in Gaza.

    Shabbat Shalom!!

  6. Nina you make good points- why would any antisemitic person care what we do at all? Yet they seem awful focused on us.

    I live in SW Michigan. Not a hotbed of hate by any means but month ago a man asked me to “Jew” down the price for him on a sales item not knowing I was Jewish. The month before that an old man I work with who knows I am Jewish and claims to be a devout X-tian did the old salute to Hitler to me while we were in the break room alone. I think people believe that overt racism and antisemitism is dead. Generally speaking I agree.

    My wife is African American. We travel often. Not long ago we we were walking down a street in a mostly White neighborhood when a car full of White men yelled the N word at her. I feel sick even now.

    I think as part of Tikkun Olam we need to work with others to reduce racism and antisemitism. Part of this means interfaith dialogue. I like working with Muslim groups because they often experience many of the same challenges and stereotypes. Though in a post 9-11 world they have experienced more threats than many of us.

    Any way you look at it, the best way to usher in the Messianic era and to repair the world, is to deliver messages of peace and hope. So we should always work to dispel stereotypes and disrespectful images of others when we hear them whether they be of other racial or religious groups or blonde jokes or whatever.

  7. I very much dislike when people generalize about living in “America”. America is big. Just because in certain spots in highly populated urban areas Jews do not see discrimination, it doesn’t mean that all American Jews don’t experience differing degrees of hatred with alarming frequency. In public, Becky would not feel so inclined to proclaim her hatred as loudly as she did to you on the anonymous internet, but she would hint at it with comments and action throughout her daily life. I tend to agree with your post, the feeling of “when” lurks when I hear otherwise decent-seeming people talk with a maybe benign, but very real, sense of Jewishness and Jews as being a bad thing. According to these people, the Nazis were aweful, but the Jews control the media, are money grubbers, backstabbers, and turncoats…I read the depiction of Judaism in Shakespeare and think “have we really made any progress?”

  8. Anti-Semetism is alive and well. I am an RN and experience it weekly. Last year Occupy Wall Street was very Anti Semetic. Look up the videos on youtube. This year we now have Israel defending itself against Hamas and other terrorist groups. This will now cause more Anti Semetism to come up to the surface. Stay strong and fight back.

  9. This post is an eye-opener. MAy G-d protect us all.

  10. And I just checked out your videos! Love them!

  11. My stomach flipped when I read this. I am so very sorry that this kind of filth found it’s way to you. I love reading everything you write and learning about Jewish faith and culture. I think what you’re doing with this site is fantastic and so many can learn and benefit from it. As a Roman Catholic I find what you have to say informative and interesting. I wish you peace and pray that you never have to encounter such a vile person like that again.

  12. I have been having the same lurking thoughts as Alison. I tend to be a pessimist by nature, but have been working hard on being an optimist. I will tell you that I work in a public school in New Jersey and I am one of only two religious Jews in the school. My entire department isn’t Jewish and a few of my colleagues tell me outright they are atheist. I’ve been working with them for five years. While religion is a discussion I try hard to stay away from, I truly feel close and connected to these people. I feel without trying to, I have rubbed off some “Jewish spirit” on them–as an example, they will not use curse words and blush to talk about “risque” topics around me even though I assure them I am as flesh and blood as them, but they feel uncomfortable. I feel this discomfort is good, because it shows that I have tapped in to the part of all of us that wants to be moral and pure. I can’t say how many Becky’s are out there, what their game plan is or what the future holds. All I can say from my experience is this: being a Jew is special, and people who aren’t Jewish by their nature respect what we stand for when they truly get to know us over time. I say Yamos Hamoshiach is very close and will not be a dreadful, scary experience but the second more preferable scenario Alison described!

  13. You’re a fabulous writer and doing a tremendous service to Klal Yisroel. May Hashem give you the continued strength and talent to keep doing this.

  14. Hello,
    First of all, I would like to say that I’m sorry that this happened to you. Antisemitism that I have seen often feeds off of a lack of historical understanding coupled with misinformation , and topped off with a bad experience involving a Jewish person to feed the flame. I would like to think that if these people were properly educated on historical events and practices, and learned about Judaism from a source without an ulterior motive, their hate would turn into embarrassment, realization, then enlightenment.
    I believe this because although my situation wasn’t as extreme as Becky’s probably was, I was around many people with an antisemitic slant in my formative years (well, the formative years for social opinion), my intense curiosity and subsequent discovery of the truth squashed the faulty logic and shallow desire to fit in with those people with antisemitic leanings, and I’m happy to say that not only have I changed, I’ve been able to change some of the minds of the people who initially attempted to influence me.

  15. Jason, “urban areas” aren’t free of anti-Semitism at all. We lived in one of the most Jewishly-identified places in the US – the Upper West Side of Manhattan – and once I was visibly Jewish (meaning once I had a little boy with me on the street with a kipa on his head) I experienced a lot of anti-Semitic nastiness on the streets of the supposedly uber-liberal UWS on a regular basis. My children did as well, from young children in the park (while I sat on a bench in the playground, watching).

    I’ll have to say also that it became dramatically worse after 9/11. After 9/11 the hate became noticably more common and almost acceptable, as after 9/11 we never once experienced a stranger either coming to our (verbal) aid or even just giving us some khizuk.

    Anti-Semitism is more than alive and well; it’s more common than you think.

  16. I met a Holocaust survivor once. He’d been in a camp as a child. Nice little old man. But he was afraid of about everything and would at times start a rant about how he ‘knew that people would hate you just for being who you are.’ I felt so bad for him. If I could have gotten my hands on a Nazi I’d have laid him out, just for that little old guy. People like this make me so angry.

  17. Rabbi Jack Abramowitz says:

    Lovely. Simply lovely.

  18. Antisemitism totally still exists! I’m not Orthodox, but I am Jewish and someone told me I’m in a cult because I’m Orthodox (which I’m not, though for some reason, maybe the fact that I wear maxi skirts he thought I am)….
    Anyway, I tried to explain that Orthodox Judaism is in general not cult, though unfortunately some people take it too far, but that’s not the norm. He did not believe me. And he has made other comments that generalize Jews, such as Jews don’t drink alcohol, which we ALL know is far from the truth 🙂

    Re: what you said about using a fake name and location, I thought you invite readers of your blog for Shabbat? So do you send them private messages with your real info and ask not to reveal? (same with people who go to the All Stars Party)?

    • Allison Josephs Allison Josephs says:

      the fake name and fake location was a joke.

      but i never talk about where i live. and the address for the all stars party is only sent to people who pay for tickets through a credit card. and no one has taken me up on my shabbos invites. but if they did i would make sure they’re not crazy first! 😉

      • I love Shabbats with Orthodox families- I had some great Orthodox hosts my first summer in Israel! If I lived in or ever visited NY I would totally take you up on it lol

  19. Becoming An Anti-Semite says:

    Oy, vey…this gonna be a long one (that’s a reader advisory there)…

    Okay, lemme explain myself: first off, I came to this site why trying to find out why Jews are so damned cheap!!

    As is the nature of the internet, one link lead to another, and even though this essay is like three years old now, the lady behind this site seems very open to interacting with non-Jews and so I’m hoping for some honest dialogue.

    I help run a maid service in NYC. And nine or eight times out of ten, the Jewish customers are the cheap, cheap, cheap though being the wealthiest of all our clientele. I’m talking about well over a hundred thousand dollars in property taxes a year — on just one property, mind you — and yet these Jewish customers will nickel-n-dime us every damned chance they get, even going so far as manufacturing complaints just to try wringing a few more bucks off!

    They’re almost always rude, too, about it, very imperious, cavalier, entitled. It’s unbelievable. And yet, here’s the funny thing: it ain’t personal. It’s not like they don’t like us, or our work, or anything…it’s like there’s a cultural factor going on here. Like, do Jews think they’re making up for their alleged thousands of years of persecution?

    (I say “alleged” because while there have been pogroms, I honestly don’t see the history as being worse than anything other episode of ethnic cleansing throughout history — but somehow with Jews, it’s always the Worst Thing Ever [TM] if what tragedy occurred happened to them.)

    Seriously, I’m becoming more and more anti-Semitic as I actually deal with real Jews. I did not grow up with Jew-hatred, and always puzzled at oven jokes and the like, but now that I have in mind these Jewish customers of ours, I really get a good laugh out of them! I mean, growing up, Jews were always the teachers and professors and since our family respected books and learning we naturally felt aligned with Jewish people…then I learned about the great contributions of Jewish thinkers, artists, social activists, and the like on world civilization and I really became impressed with, shall I say, “the Jewish heritage” or “the Jewish legacy”…but for the past eight years I’ve dealt with Jew after kvetching thieving penny-pinching Jew after Jew after Jew and like I said it’s come down to actually finding delight in Holocaust jokes!

    So please help me…I know with your Jewish sense of humor you probably think this plea is hilarious and pathetic all at once but if you care for dialogue, I’d like to know what the heck I’m supposed to do with these growing feelings of antagonism against Jews. It’s gotten so bad that it doesn’t even matter whether they’re Ashkenaz or Mizrahi, religious or not, even if they’re politically progressive! The cleaning business really hardened me but although cheapskates and scammers can be found among all demographics, for the past half decade I’ve noticed that it’s overwhelmingly Jews who constitute the biggest proportion of such people. What do you Jews say amongst yourselves about your constant nonstop price-wrangling??? I’m talking about complaining about the price even after agreeing to it, and trying to get compensation way out of proportion for every imagined inconvenience!!

    Okay, I’ve gone on long enough for an initial plea…more details if you wish for dialogue. Thank you for your time; we do have a rabbi who’s actually an all right customer — no tips, but at least he isn’t a problem at all, unlike those Jewish customers who don’t tip but lie about doing so and hold that total fabrication as some kind of reason why we should continue kowtowing to their every monetary whim.

  20. Rabbi Jack Abramowitz says:

    I was once mugged on the subway by a black guy. My car – among others in my town – was broken into. When they caught the guy, he was black. My house was robbed. The guy wasn’t caught but based on witnesses (as well as phone calls to Latin America that he made on a phone that he stole), the guy was Latino. Based on my anecdotal experience, all criminals are racial minorities. If this was the entirety of my exposure to other races, I might in fact conclude that (though I hope I wouldn’t refer to myself as “Becoming a Racist” when posting about it online). Happily, I do have other exposures. I have friends of all races and religions, so I know that my negative experiences are indicative of these individuals’ actions only, not of entire classes of people.

    We’re hard-wired to notice certain things. If I see a Japanese tourist with lots of cameras, my brain will make note of it because it reinforces a stereotype. I happen to see dozens of Japanese tourists every week who don’t fit the stereotype and I think nothing of it. We note the things that support our preconceptions and overlook the majority of interactions that don’t because, frankly, they’re unremarkable.

    Anecdotally, my daughter’s school runs an amusement park a few times a year as a fundraiser. There are always a few people who try and talk us into a “deal.” They are often (not always) Hasidic. I have to assume that haggling might simply be something they do in their subculture, but I must also note that for the three or four noteworthy customers who aggressively try to bargain with me, there are literally dozens who don’t.

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