Friday, March 11, 2022

A few thoughts about "People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present," by Dara Horn

 I wouldn't dignify this by calling it a book review, but here are a few reactions of mine to Dara Horn's ""People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present" that I posted on Goodreads:

Dara Horn asked why people couldn't find the words to say after the attack on Pittsburgh's Tree of Live synagogue when the words can be found all over the Jewish prayer-book. She also asked why only anti-Semitic attacks had to be "contextualized"--sure, there's some controversy about school boards in some parts of New York State, but political disputes are not usually addressed by attacking people perceived as political opponents with a machete, as happened at a rabbi's Chanukah party in Monsey. She also wanted to know why "Jewish heritage" sites conveniently neglect to mention why there are few or no Jews left in the site. ("Anti-Semitic discrimination and/or attacks? Who, us?") She also posited that Jews changing their family names to something less obviously Jewish never cited American anti-Semitism as the reason because Jews who'd fled from anti-Semitism couldn't admit that the same scourge existed in the U.S. And then there was her son, who insisted on listening to an audio presentation of the Merchant of Venice and declared that the "hath not a Jew eyes" speech was a classic super-villain speech and that anyone who believed that it humanized Shylock was a victim of gaslighting--Shakespeare was an anti-Semite. Ouch to all of the above.


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