Hi Joshua, my life story began in almost reverse to yours; born and raised in Tel Aviv until I was 13 years old, then to L.A., then to Las Vegas where I've built my life (yes, Vegas). Being an Israeli Jew in America, particularly at the start, was a stark reminder of our inherent strangeness in the world. You aren't wrong about anything you wrote, and if I'm not mistaken, there was a rebuke in your words, or maybe you weren't trying to hide it at all, I'm not sure, I sort of devoured the article. But either way, I agree with it all. I would only add, or simply emphasize, that it has been my experience that that self-hatred is so deep that IT is what has led American Jews to the Left and to assimilation that purposely seeks to shake off the 'stink' of their Jewishness, including a seething anti-Zionism, so that they will be seen as 'regular' people rather than be distinguished by the beauty of who we are, ushered in no small measure by the transgenerational trauma to which you've so astutely pointed- it's very real. I guess what I'm trying to say is that, after reading this piece and being reminded of its hard truths, I am almost completely heartbroken in this post October 7th world. I still can't believe that something so horrific happened to my people in my birthplace that despite all its plain shortcomings, ever made me feel unsafe but rather normal, modern- and above all, protected. These proud shows of antisemitism have now shattered everything I've held onto and, most sadly, pushed me to seek solace on Instagram, which I hate. Though it offers some palliation. But I wonder, was it simply an allusion I was holding on to? Were we Jews always so fragile and will we ever recover? Will Israel endure? How is this our reality now. In my grief and fear though, I feel so emboldened that even if all the answers to the latter won't offer comfort, I'm too pissed off to give up or allow anyone to make me feel like a weak Jew. I can't and I won't. I look at Israelis, my family too, and I feel so bad it brings tears to my eyes and an ache in my very being for them because they just want to live. They so always want to show the world that they are normal, modern and good, but i never works. And despite being taught that all the world will always hate us for being Jews, I will never understand that hatred.

At any rate, your articles have been giving me so much food for thought, pride and strength because I believe that your defiance is coming through in them and it's inspiring and invigorating. Please don't ever stop writing them.

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Nov 19, 2023Liked by Joshua Hoffman

So if I'm reading the tea leaves correctly, Hamas has done its job. Not only is antisemitism at an all time high here in the United States and around the world, but now Jews are on the road to self- destruction. I hope not...

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This article is powerful and important. I will send to friends and family. Hubby and I could not afford to send our kids to the not so local Jewish High School so instead my son went to a Jesuit school for boys and my daughter attended a Catholic-light school. While they had great educations, I have regrets that I didn't home school them.

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Nov 23, 2023Liked by Joshua Hoffman

Let’s not leave God out of the discussion though please. Everything about this subject relates to Him does t it?

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Thank you for your words.

Humans have issues that threaten our survival.

1. We are bellicose. What happened to the Neanderthals? We killed them. We always chose violence as the ultimate solution.

2. We are shortsighted. We pollute the planet with full knowledge of the consequences.

3. We are governed by Darwin’s law “survival of the fittest “. We change as part of the natural path of life. If the change leads to strength then it wins. Otherwise it is killed.

This planet is not big enough or strong enough to tolerate this species as we know it.

I don’t have the answer. Humans cannot survive this paradigm. They will destroy themselves.

These issues of nationalism, terrorism, the need for power and possessions are what will destroy us.

At the moment only the strongest will survive.

What can be the answer to this? Be strong? Be weak? Be loving? Be hateful?

That’s as far as I can go. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help than this.

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