Thursday, January 31, 2008


I’ve heard the question asked before
But the answer I still don’t know,
What is it? What have we done?
Why do they hate us so?

I’ve read the question many times
I’ve heard it asked a few.
I also always knew the answer
Of ‘Simple, you’re a Jew.’

And yet today, nothing satisfies
As chills run up my spine,
Because some bitch stole the secure –
if careless attitude of mine.

“They hate us” seemed so far away,
it didn’t mean me.
It was always across the ocean,
And in another century.

Not here, not now. Not at a Starbucks
At such neutral territory,
It just seems the wrong setting
For such a disconcerting story

Lunch started pleasantly enough
Which was why it took me a moment to understand,
What it was that froze my blood
As I saw that woman’s hand.

She angled it so that we could see
The insignia tattooed on her arm.
Sitting at the next table
She enjoyed my noticeable alarm,

I had never realized the power
Of two simple letters intertwined
The S and S – the Swastika
Arrogance and loathing combined.

She smirked in our direction,
And hissed quite loudly, ‘Extermination!’
We grabbed our bags, got out of there
And headed for the nearest station

But I still walked passed her, with head held high,
As if I didn’t give a damn,
I am proud of being a Jew!
I am oh so proud of who I am.

But that chill in my spine, followed me home
And it still asks – it still wants to know
What is it? What have we done??
Why do they hate us so?


At January 31, 2008 8:53 PM, Blogger frumhouse said...

They hate us due to their own self-loathing and feelings of inadequacy. It's easier to blame other people for your unemployment/bad relationship/estrangement from your parents/poverty - take your pick. In the end, it doesn't matter why. Jews have always walked forward through hatred with heads held high. There's no reason to stop walking now!

At January 31, 2008 11:13 PM, Blogger Totally Content said...

Frumhouse, thanks for your comment.

I'm familiar with that answer, but the question takes on an entirely new level when one finds themselves in the picture.
Why me? I'm just a woman enjoying a cup of joe. Seriously? She hates me?? What have I done? What have we done?

I get the self loathing and the need to blame, but this was something else. She didn't just blame us - she hates us!

It is so easy to become complacent in America. We feel so safe. So secure in the knowledge that we live in a 'free' country. Ironically, in Germany such behavior is illegal. But here, in good ol' U S of A, one can't do anything to stop it.

At April 21, 2008 3:17 PM, Anonymous Daniel E. Levenson said...

I like your poem. I would like to invite you to check out a new online Jewish publication when you have a moment:

In addition to essays, book reviews and feature articles we also publish poetry and fiction, and are always looking for new contributors. Please feel free to be in touch if you have any questions.

At June 13, 2008 12:30 AM, Blogger the sabra said...



the rhyming pattern sorta lightens it, but not quite.

thanks for sharing this.

waitin for the day when the world will be filled with the knowledge of Gd.

At December 25, 2008 8:49 PM, Anonymous Avruhom Yehida said...


I am a SatWillSidic man who now lives in Florida. I have read your poems and love them.
I am disappointed to see none for such a long time.
Do you have a new blog or Internet address?

At April 03, 2010 2:13 AM, Blogger Nancy said...

The poem is beautiful. You have got great talent with rhymes. May your head be always held high!!

This is Nancy from Israeli Uncensored News


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