By Maggie Kuck, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Part 1.

Numb.
The first feeling,
the first descriptor,
the only word to use.
At first.
I judged my emotions.
How was I supposed to feel?
Or feel at all.
I grabbed my hamsa necklace,
with the Star of David,
and put it proudly above my jacket.
I wanted them, the tourists,
those without personal connection,
to see a Jew.
Here.
In this space.
Anger.
The replacement for numb,
anger at the world today.
How, with this memory alive,
does the world continue to turn against us?
The Jews. The scapegoats. The others.
Others how? You tell me.
Please, help me understand.
Let me change your mind.
Jews are people, so are you.
But,
Jews are not always seen as people.
I am a person. I am also a Jew.
Can that really be so hard to understand?
Hatred is taught,
so hatred is learned.
Hatred is deep rooted and misinformed.
Ignorance.
The simplest way to begin to reconcile this world.
Simple.
Everything this is not.

Part 2.
Simplicity,
is boring.
Conflict generates ideas.
Right?
Respectful conflict,
is rare.
Takes a lot of patience,
an open mind.
Empathy,
takes practice,
but it can be learned,
just like hate.
In small steps,
which may not be continuous.
And that,
is fine. Really.
Trying is something, effort is something.
But it not always good enough.
Never again.
A motto Jews live by.
We don't want this to happen again.
Not to us.
Not to you.

Part 3.

I wish I met my Mom's father.
Unfortunately, he passed away
when my mom was young.
His father,
was Polish.
Thankfully (to put it light),
he left before the war,
to Argentina.
He was Jewish.
I do not know,
what happened to his relatives.
I do not know,
much of my grandfather's story. But,
I wish I did.
I want to know,
more of my Jewish history.
My grandfather married,
a Catholic woman,
who converted against her family's wishes,
in Argentina.
My Nana,
continued the line of Judaism,
so today I am able to be proud.

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