For Mom’s Sake

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The fourth issue of Guilt & Pleasure is now out, and at first glance, it seems as good (and good-looking) as the first three. That is, unless you’re Shalom Auslander’s mother.

The journal has a hilarious — but fundamentally serious — essay by Auslander that explores a predicament many of us are in: struggling with the Jewish community’s paranoia about anti-Semitism, while also struggling with the rise in actual anti-Semitic incidents (the latest example being the recent report on the Canadian situation).

Auslander navigates these issues with his signature edgy, personal voice. His specific problem: If anti-Semitism really is ubiquitous, then his mother was right.

For Auslander, nothing could be worse, so he ends the article with a plea to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mel Gibson, and Hassan Nasrallah .

Think about that the next time, fellas — the next time you organize a “Did the Holocaust Really Happen?� conference, the next time you deface the Holocaust Memorial in Brussels, the next time you throw a Molotov cocktail at the Jewish center in Baltimore — think about my mother, at home, reading about it in the newspaper, tutting and shaking her head and veyzmeering and saying I told you so.

Does anyone really want to live in a world where my mother was right? I know I don’t. More importantly, I couldn’t, because you’d kill me. You’d kill all of us. And then who would run Hollywood?

Just kidding.

Please help.

A PDF of the complete essay is available here.

Posted on March 26, 2007

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One thought on “For Mom’s Sake

  1. lornewel

    Just to be upfront – I am a Canadian evangelical Christian, and each of those “labels” tells something about the background to my response to Auslander’s essay – which I found very “witty with a purpose.” I know I don’t experience rejection the way Jews experience anti-semitism. but my world view is roundly ridiculed quite regularly. The Muslim extremists who want to exterminate Jews want to exterminate this “infidel” too. Those who identify with Israel (both the nation and the “chosen people”) as many evangelicals do, draw the same hatred from Muslim factions and other left-wingers. USA and Canada whose respective president and prime minister are openly evangelicals, are Israel’s two staunchest allies in the world. I, for one, think that is more than correlation – there is causation. People who seriously believe the Bible, be they Jew or gentile, tend to be pro-Israeli. The religiously liberal, not so much. Political pundits can say that Canada and the US support Israel because it is the only democracy in the region, but they have been on the side of despots often enough to make me see that as a weak and conveniently “non-religious” view.

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