Photo by Sylvain Brison on Unsplash

To be a Jew

What does it even mean?

Yaakov C Lui-Hyden
15 min readNov 21, 2023

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Ah to be a Jew. What does this mean?

Is it this?

Photo by Levi Meir Clancy on Unsplash

Or this?

Photo by Taton Moïse on Unsplash

Or even this?

One universal truth when it comes to us Jews. Our enemies will always try to define us and decide for us, never on an advantageous basis, who we are.

If you were in Europe historically, you were foreign, Middle Eastern, speaking a language of the Levant,of Palestine. Expelled from half a dozen European countries, forbidden from many professions and forced to live in ghettoes or the Pale of Settlement. You were told to convert, children forcibly baptised, and at Easter you were accused of kidnapping Christian children and eating them (yes, really). You were blamed for murders, you were blamed for the bubonic plague, and you were the number one target of the inquisition. Martin Luther, the great reformer and founding father of protestantism called synagogues ‘Synagogues of Satan” and desired they all be burnt down. The Catholics decreed you were killers of Christ until the 1960s. Even the crusaders, on the way to liberate the Holy Land, made sure they stopped and butchered you and yours in Europe.

Every European knew where you came from and you were never one of them and for 2000 years they would say “ F off to Palestine” while you ironically prayed “Next year in Jerusalem.” To you and yours the Holocaust was just another pogrom, not being so aware of the extent and efficiency of the Nazi war machine. You saw it in your local communities. Then you heard rumours, but perhaps you didn’t know the extent until you lined up for the showers and discovered Jews from all over Europe among you.

That was day in the life of being a Jew. Yellow stars? Yeah worn those before. Being expelled or shipped off somewhere? Perfectly…

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Yaakov C Lui-Hyden

Yaakov is a world traveller and is accused of being an Australian. Published several novels. He writes about travel, writing, geopolitics and trading.