Monday, September 9, 2013
HIDDEN OR PUBLIC
I am watching a program Finding Your Roots on Public TV. It's very interesting, what is hiding out there, in the depth of centuries and people's fates. A known Hispanic lady discovered that she is twenty percent Jewish, because she comes from "crypto-Jews". They were people in the fifteenth century who had to hide their religious affiliation from the rampaging Catholic inquisitors. That topic always fascinated me. A lot of the Jews escaped from Europe (Spain) to the New World, but here they also practiced their religion in secret, marrying inside their own community and only just allowing themselves to hint to the world, who they really were, by etching the stars of David on their churches and tombs, by observing some Jewish religious practices as well as the catholic ones. No wonder, my parents didn't want to hang the guest welcoming sign in Hebrew outside their door: the instinct to stay hidden was too deeply engraved in them too, like those six-pointed stars. The world, of course, loved to dig out that Jewishness and turn it against the unfortunate race, and thus, - the fire of public executions and yellow stars on the sleeves.