Sunday Musings


– Our Swedish collegues and their students are arriving tonight. We are busy cleaning the house and cooking. I’ll probably test a few Pesach recipes on the teacher who will be staying with us as a rehearsal for the big days!

– Yesterday I read another essay from Conversations – the print journal of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals. It was written by Jeremy Rosen, a graduate of Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem and Cambridge University and now a Manhattan rabbi. Since it is online I urge you to read it; a very enlightning approach to Orthodoxy past and present.

– As Pesach is approaching and we are all feeling the strain of cleaning and cooking I have found two articles which have slightly altered my perception of the holidays. One was posted on The Jew and the Carrot while the other one was written by Mimi of Israeli Kitchen. I plan to prepare a mainly vegetarian – as in lots of vegetables – festival in an effort not to feel alienated by the pressure of overwhelming and costly preparations.

Jean Ferrat, a French singer, has just died. I suppose he isn’t well-known outside France, except maybe to those whose French teachers admired his poetical songs. Since his death, journalists have been repeating over and over again that his father was Jewish and “died in deportation” or that he “was deported to Auschwitz during the war, where he died.” I hate this .self-censored use of language. “Died in deportation” seems to imply bad luck, poor health or old age while like millions of other Jews Ferrat’s father was killed/assassinated by the Nazis.


10 thoughts on “Sunday Musings

  1. You already have pink buds?

    Oh, dear. I’m not sure I want to read about Pesach cleaning. I think of blog reading as a way to relax.

    I can understand why the language of the obituary is troubling. In this book I am reading about Ellis Island (American Passage by Vincent Cannato), there are many quotes by officials about Jews from Eastern Europe that are condescending. One sympathetic U.S. govt. official visited Eastern Europe and described Jews as though one would describe a Holocaust victim. It was difficult for European Jews at the beginning of the 20th century, too.

    • No pink buds yet; wishful thinking!
      What annoys me is that the wording is contemporary and everybody knows what happened to the Jews who were deported to the various death camps.

  2. I always like your links to the Conversations articles, so I’m looking forward to reading this one.

    I had heard of Jean Ferat – but then my step-father used to come back from his school trips to France with interesting records, including from Breton folksingers… which I quite liked, myself. I agree about ‘mincing of words’. Why not just say it like it is, in this instance?

    • I sincerely hope you’ll enjoy the link, all the more so as a British Jew.
      I suppose your father-in-law bought records by Jean-Michel Caradec and Allan Stivell. It’s ages since I last thought abouth them!

      • It was both of those artists….!

        The link was really very interesting and does give me hope for more diversity and acceptance – not so much of everyone sticking to ‘party lines’ but being more of the Jew that feels right to them, than being the Jew they are told to feel right about. I think that’s the kind of person I am… 🙂

  3. self-censored use of language
    Good description of a troubling phenomenon. It’s especially disturbing, because at the same time, we also see more and more examples of the opposite – namely, the overblown, wildly-exaggerated, and completely inaccurate use of language. (E.g., everything that Israel does is said to be a “violation of human rights” [sic] or even worse…)

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