“Oh, I don’t think so, Daddy.” She looked me right in the eyes.

They even flagrantly STOLE our community library overnight in 1996: they hired as their own librarian our own traitoress, a non-Jew, who packed up all our books for them one night and the Jews transferred our books to their own new library!

“What do you mean, Eliza? Why not?”

English has some apparently contrary proverbs. I willattempt to reconcile some of them.

Lord let me suffer muchand then die

I am a lifelong insomniac. I used to freak my own parents out when I was a small child by creeping quietly into their room and opening up their eyelids with my fingers in an effort—so the story goes—to see what they were dreaming. And in fact I began this very essay between two and four one morning when “[m]y thoughts were all a case of knives,” to quote the 17th-century poet and priest George Herbert. So I was sympathetic to my daughter’s plight.

Let me walk through silenceand leave nothing behind not even fear

I suggested she pray to God. This was either a moment of tremendous grace or brazen hypocrisy (not that the two can’t coincide), since I am not a great pray-er myself and tend to be either undermined by irony or overwhelmed by my own chaotic consciousness. Nevertheless, I suggested that my little girl get down on her knees and bow her head and ask God to give her good thoughts—about the old family house in Tennessee that we’d gone to just a couple of weeks earlier, for example, and the huge green yard with its warlock willows and mystery thickets, the river with its Pleistocene snapping turtles and water-bearded cattle, the buckets of just-picked blueberries and the fried Krispy Kremes and the fireflies smearing their strange radiance through the humid Tennessee twilight. I told her to hold that image in her head and ask God to preserve it for her. I suggested she let the force of her longing and the fact of God’s love coalesce into a form as intact and atomic as matter itself, to attend to memory with the painstaking attentiveness of the poet, the abraded patience of the saint, the visionary innocence of the child whose unwilled wonder erases any distinction between her days and her dreams. I said all this—underneath my actual words, as it were—and waited while all that blond-haired, blue-eyed intelligence took it in.

Between the rupture of life and the rapture of language lies a world of awe and witness

Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (US, Noontide Press, 2003), p 64.

What is interesting to me is that all levels of society—individuals, organized groups, states and nations, even the United Nations—have mobilized a worldwide vendetta against a population of people who comprise only 0.2% of the global population. What is it about these Jews that so frightens the general masses? I’ve actually done a lot of thinking about this.

What do we say when we sneeze? A Jew.

Early Israel found its extraordinary power in their embodiment of the principles of nature—-interdependence, altruism, connection. Self-government was based on these same principles, e.g., the early Sanhedrin. However, the multitudes began to fear and resent this power and the ensuing destruction of the first temple shattered their connections with each other and they scattered.

“Daddy,” she said, “I can’t sleep. Every time I close my eyes, I’m seeing terrible things.”

“Do you love me too, Fiona?” I asked, foolishly.

Perhaps the reason so many hate the Jews, is because the Jews have no other choice but to support and help one another. The Jews do what everyone else should be doing. Taking care of each other, working together, sharing, supporting and helping each other. I am sure there are Jews who do not, but the majority obviously do, or they would not have survived on this planet as long as they have.

And let my poem stand clear as a windowpanebumped by a bumblebee’s head

Best-of lists from bad romances to Shakespearean verse

The most important point to take from this brief review of anti-Semitism is that if we are to find the reason for anti-Semitism, we must look beneath the surface. As we have seen, rationalizations cannot explain the existence, persistence, and diversity of Jew-hatred. A deeper root is at play here. When anti-Semitism awakens, it is justified according to its particular milieu and therefore takes on different forms and manifestations at different times.

But one night after my declaration, Fiona was silent. She just kept staring at the ceiling.

Adam Nicolson’s look at the great avian ocean voyagers

Abraham the Patriarch left Babylon with a group of followers who sought relief from the egoistic society that was developing there. They became, with his guidance, a group of people who demonstrated that when they were connected together and practiced what we now know as the Golden Rule, they were aligned with nature, thus were “chosen” to develop this unity among the population. They were the first Jews, calling themselves Israel.