Monday, August 3, 2009

Being Jewish

A chance evening meeting in the Plaza de Armas in Santiago.


Ephraim: We come from Israel.

Angela: I lived for five years in Israel.

Ephraim: So you are Jewish?

Angela: No, my father was a diplomat in Tel Aviv. I went to school there.

Ephraim: You learned Hebrew?

Angela: I had to. The other kids teased me, so I had to find out what they were saying.

Ephraim: Unusual. Israel is generally a tolerant culture.

Angela: Children can be unkind. But it was a good experience. They say that which doesn’t kill you makes you strong.

Ephraim: And eventually you prevailed over your tormentors?

Angela: I really like Israel. I’ve lived in many places, I can understand the sense of Diaspora. Of adapting to the place you live in, taking the best of it and keeping your core identity. I feel I could be Jewish.


Angela shows ability is being able to relate personal experiences and to generalize from them. “Children can be unkind.” When she doesn’t recall the exact wording and source of the aphorism “That which doesn’t kill you makes you strong,” (Friedrich Nietzsche) she paraphrases and falls back on the standby of “They say.”


No comments: