The Jews, My People

Memoirist Dani Shapiro in her memoir, Inheritance, having learned she was not completely, but, in fact, one half Jewish expressed:

“I did not come from the line of small, wiry, dark-eyed people of the shtetl, the men swaying over crumbling tombstones, prayer books in their hands. The imprint of pogroms, of the difficulties and sorrows of immigrant life was not mine—at least not in a physical sense.”

The lines reminded me that these are my people. I am small and wiry and dark eyed. This is how they suffered and transcended the everyday in prayer. It brought meaningful tears to my eyes.

Those eyes of mine, I suspect from all the inbreeding in the ghetto, have been followed for many years for their over abundance of dark pigment. The pigmentary changes are called Krukenberg’s Spindle. The disease, also known as Pigment Dispersion Syndrome, enhances one’s odds of developing glaucoma. By the grace of God that has never happened to me.

One would think with all the defects of inbreeding like an increase among Jews of the incidence of breast cancer and GI cancer that they would be a short lived people. In fact, if he is still alive a man who turned 116, a Jewish Holocaust survivor, has been the oldest man on earth. Life is full of surprises.

H. Robert Rubin, best selling Amazon memoirist and author of three books available on Amazon, Look Backward Angel, How Did I Get Through This? and Please Save the Third Dance for Me.