Thursday, June 26, 2014

UK: My swastika

MY FIRST reaction to the swastika someone drew on our house a few days ago was bemusement. Neo-Nazi graffiti seemed anachronistic and incongruous in London, 2014. At least, it felt that way to me. I had an orthodox Jewish upbringing but have since severely lapsed. My wife is not Jewish, which means that—at least by the rules of the orthodox rabbinate—neither are my children. At our house the only visible indicator of my Jewishness is a mezuzah: a small, ritual capsule that Jews affix to their doorposts (ours has a leopard-print design and came from Paris). A mezuzah is a lowest common denominator of Jewish identity; not having one would feel like outright apostasy. 
The swastika was scribbled alongside it, which is why I am sure this was not some random scrawl. Mine is not a very Jewish neighbourhood, so it was creepily surprising that anyone passing our house would have sufficient anti-Semitic expertise to recognise the mezuzah. 
More: The Blighty @ The Economist

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