ON BEING JEWISH ~ THOUGHTS ~
WELCOME TO THIS SECTION ABOUT MY THOUGHTS ON BEING JEWISH AND MY JOURNEY. I'M GOING TO TOUCH A BIT ON PALESTINE AND ISRAEL, A PLACE I HAVE SPENT TIME IN, IF THAT'S TRIGGERING FOR YOU, FEEL FREE TO TAP-OUT NOW ~
being jewish has always felt like a big secret and one that has come with quite a feeling of shame ~ thE MEMOIRS project was an opportunity to dive deeper into what my jewish identity means for me. BUT IT DOESN'T START OR STOP THERE.
QUESTIONS ARE ONGOING AND BEGAN SPROUTING FROM THE MOMENT IN CHILDHOOD WHEN I LEARNED I WAS JEWISH BUT THAT I DIDN'T HAVE ANY PEOPLE IN THE SOCIETY AROUND ME WHO KNEW THAT OR COULD REALLY REFLECT THAT BACK TO ME.
I WAS NOT SEEN IN MY JEWISH IDENTITY, IT WAS A HIDDEN PART, MUCH LIKE THE QUEER PART HAS BEEN FOR A VERY LONG TIME.
HIDING IS EXHAUSTING ~ SO I'M PRACTISING TALKING ABOUT IT ~
not all sides of my family WHERE WELCOMING TO MY BEING JEWISH, THERE HAVE BEEN HURDLES AND ANTI-SEMITIC SENTIMENTS FROM THE INSIDE AND OUTSIDE. my own mother has been both an insider and outsider in her own world(s) and a feeling of not quite fitting in has been present throughout our lives.
THERE'S ALSO BEEN THIS ~
~ TOO JEWISH FOR THEM
~ NOT JEWISH ENOUGH TO HANG OUT WITH THEM
being jewish also feels like a secret because there is an ongoing fear of being disliked ~ WHEN I TRY TO UNDERSTAND THIS, I HAVE THESE THOUGHT~SPIRALS ~ IT IS:
because of how i have embodied anti-semitism ~
because i acknowledge the voices and stories of other genocides who have not been given the same room in history and education to be heard ~ AND I ALWAYS FEAR THAT I MIGHT TAKE UP TOO MUCH SPACE ~ IS THIS ALSO KNOWN AS THE IMPOSTER SYNDROME?
because the history, the land, the politics of palestine, of israel are so complex, painful and full of suffering, that i don't know how to start that conversation about being linked to this place ~ israel is a place i have lived in on a kibbutz, trained as a dancer with funding support because I am jewish, where i have performed in memorial ceremonies, wHere i have felt both at home and at a loss, where i have relatives, where my great-grandmother's two brothers settled and had all of their children, where - in theory - i could have been born if my maternal ancestors had not left for europe ~
i've felt speechless for a LONG TIME ~ because of how israel and the things i didn't like/the things i do not agree with sat within me in an uncomfortable way. i often ask myself ~ in what ways am i linked to what parts of what histories ~ or am i already linked with everything and it already lives in this body that i have? ~
and in what ways am i accountable?
..because of wanting to go somewhere & wanting to be somewhere but also not be somewhere at the same time ~ also because i didn't know how to keep exploring my identity, as a jewish person with roots there // as a dancer who had found my groove there, when i was filled with so many different feelings about a place, a history and the time spent inside of that
understanding and acknowledging the pain and complexities ~ or trying to ~ of my identity, OF THE PLACES I'VE BEEN AND AM ASSOCIATED WITH, and what IT has meant for me to retrace the steps of my ancestors has made it hard for me to find my voice within a jewish identity.. i'm still figuring it out.. POETRY AND DANCE ARE MY JOURNEY OUT OF SILENCE AND INTO EXPRESSION ~ INTO CHANGE AND TRANSFORMING THE THINGS ON THE INSIDE AND ON THE OUTSIDE