Antisemitism Hits Home- When Will the Hating End?

The epidemic of hate that Doug Emhoff referenced yesterday at a White House roundtable on antisemitism has hit close to home for me.

That vile virus has infected my house. Hate dwells inside.

Two weeks ago when I was called a “kike” on this site it was disturbing but it lived online.

A few days ago, it happened where I live.

A Trump-loving neighbor began making hostile gestures toward my husband without any provocation. It began with this man throwing things at Hershel through his car window when he spotted him outside.

The next day, as my husband was walking my dog Stanley, he looked up and the neighbor, his large body framed by the floor-to-ceiling Trump poster that hangs on his wall, standing at his open window staring out menacingly.

A surly, hulk of a guy, with a chip on his shoulder the size of his beer belly he was glaring right at Hersh. Sneering, he gave him the finger shouting “Fucking Jew!” Refusing to engage, Hersh chose to ignore it, but the incident hit me to the core.

This was not a neighbor who lives down the block.

Or next door.

He lives in my house. Above me.

The large, lovely Victorian home I live in is divided into two separate residences. He, his wife, and his adult son live on the top floor above us.

We share a common wall, but that is all we have in common. Our interactions are minimal if nonexistent. I smile at him if I see him on the driveway but it is never returned. Hersh has never spoken a single word to him, avoiding him at all costs.

Anger radiates from him.

Now I hear his heavy feet stomping across the floor above me, and it rattles me as much as it rattles my grandmother’s crystal in the china cabinet.

Hate is hiding in plain sight and there is no place for me to hide.

“Let me be clear- words matter. People are no longer saying the quiet parts out loud, they are screaming them,” Emhoff said. We cannot normalize this.”

These words are not new. Hate is not new. But they have become normalized and all too common.

Today I am filled with hate at all this hate in our country. I hate that hate now dwells in my house.

I hate that my Holocaust survivor husband’s life is now bookended by the vileness of antisemitism.

I hate that because he was a Jew he was born homeless in a field because there was no home to go back to once WWII was over.

I hate thinking that his parents thought they left anti-Semitism when they crossed the ocean to come to America and that the overt hate they experienced was in the past.

I hate that the past is now present.

I hate that Hersh had to hear the chanting “Jews will not replace us.” I hate that he heard his wife being called a “kike.” I hate that he was called unthinkable words in his home, our sanctuary.

I hate hating.

As much as I hate hate.

 

 

 

 

16 comments

  1. jefftamarkin

    Utterly chilling. And to think that there are millions more just like him residing in every corner of this country. How does someone grow up to be this kind of person?

    Like

  2. Sally, as the song “Carefully Taught” from “South Pacific” tells about hate and bigotry:

    “You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late
    Before you are six or seven or eight
    To hate all the people your relatives hate
    You’ve got to be carefully taught”

    This is a key reason why the Nazis gaslighted the Hitler youth to tell them who to blame and hate.
    It cannot be you that is at fault for your decisions and lot in life, you have to be taught to blame someone else. This is how people are taught to fight for the so-called leader. Keith

    Like

  3. How many people — Jews, LGBTQ+, immigrants, people of color — are living with this daily fear? Reminds me of that illustration of Lady Liberty weeping in despair. She hates this, too.

    Like

    • The rise of hate and hate crimes is at a high point now and the DHS has been issuing warnings of its elevation. As much as there have been wonderful wins for democracy lately, this stain remains.

      Like

  4. I’m sad you and your husband have to endure this ignorant lump. No one should have to deal with a neighbor like that. The question is what is the way one deals with such hate without becoming hateful oneself. I don’t think I could do it.

    When you write, “This man, like so many hate-filled people, is angry at life, angry at how his life may have turned out and need to lash out at others,” the question becomes is a decent person’s responsibility to interact with that sad piece of crap, to somehow show this wounded soul things are OK, just learn to live with life’s vicissitudes? I say no. Hate is a stain that doesn’t go away.

    Like

  5. Look at the bright side Sally. You have many friends online who will spread your story across the Internet. We are with you spiritually as you point to the wrongs in society. Keep on fighting we are with you.

    Like

    • Thank you so much, Dennis. Along with telling the story here, I have shared it on social media and the love I have received from others when I shared my story balances out these negative feelings, and love will win out.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on Journalism as Art and commented:
    A Trump-loving neighbor began making hostile gestures toward my husband without any provocation. It began with this man throwing things at Hershel through his car window when he spotted him outside.

    The next day, as my husband was walking my dog Stanley, he looked up and the neighbor, his large body framed by the floor-to-ceiling Trump poster that hangs on his wall, standing at his open window staring out menacingly.

    Like

  7. Thank you for sharing this horror. I couldn’t bring myself to click “Like” because I was too heart-sick that this is happening to you and your husband.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Susan for your concern and compassion. I understand the hesitation of pressing “like” there should be a “support” button. Fortunately, there have been no new incidents, but these were so out of the blue that I live fearful of another incident happening unprovoked. These are scary times especially when it hits home.

      Like

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