Within George Santos’s fabrications is his confused explanation of being not a Jew but Jewish, or rather Jew-ish, and that’s his little joke. As a Jew, I most surely do “get it.” I’m not sure how the joke translates into other languages, but I’m pretty sure it plays wherever we walk in the Christian world. Indeed, the word “Jew” is seldom used in polite society, hence the smutty humor of it all. And, of course, that is the joke — that we’re all apologizing for being Jews.
As precarious as it’s always been, I think that we can trace the current corrupted usage of that adjective to Hitler who made the word “Jude” the most demeaning and most fatal epithet in the language. So I ask: How many more decades must we let pass before that usage is dimmed enough that a Jew may claim himself as such without a slight inner tremble? Perhaps even with pride.
I am no nearer being Jew-ish than a Catholic is Catholic-ish, nor a Muslim is Muslim-ish. I am a Jew, and when asked, that’s my answer. I believe that when we can answer with this one syllable reply, we will do so with our heads just a bit higher.
Robert Silver, Los Angeles, CA