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Sunday Sentence

UnknownAnother Sunday in which I participate in David Abrams’s “Sunday Sentence” project, which asks others to share the best sentence(s) we’ve read during the past week, “out of context and without commentary.”

But of course, a Jew is never free not to be a Jew—and a writer who publishes a whole book about being Jewish is not exactly fleeing the identification.

Source: Adam Kirsch’s review of Yascha Mounk’s new memoir, for Tablet.

(Again, breaking the “no-commentary” rule: I like this sentence so much because it crystallizes my own sentiments after reading Mounk’s essay in last week’s New York Times “Week in Review.”)

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5 Responses »

  1. Thanks for the link to Mounk’s essay. Pretty interesting reading, especially for what he says about philo-semitism in contemporary Germany. (“A real jew!”) Incredibly clumsy and not a little phony. Gosh, how would an African-American these days feel about enthusiastically hailed as “a real black”? His comments remind me of the sentiment I sometimes hear down here in the south that racism is just not a problem anymore. That was a problem for 40 years ago, but we’ve “solved” it. Hah! These sentiments are always expressed by whites; never by African-Americans. Similarly, Germany doesn’t get to just decide that the holocaust is all done and the country can leave that history behind. No, it can’t.

    • I just couldn’t assimilate (no pun intended) the claims at the end of the essay with the idea of writing a book that is being promoted extensively as a book about being Jewish. Which is why Adam K’s observation resonated so strongly.

  2. Yes, I understand. After I put my comment up I realized that I was quite addressing the issue you had intended to address. Oh well. Still, it was a very interesting essay.

  3. No, no. I didn’t take it that way. Thanks, Erika.

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