57 Comments

This really made me smile. You did it! The whole essence in 600 words. 🙏🥰

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This is painful and beautiful and sad. You have capture how I feel so well and it’s a huge comfort. Toda.

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מדהים ביותר. דרך מקורית וטובה להסביר את מה שאף אחד לא יכול להבין או להסביר…

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This is really beautiful. Thank you for taking us inside peoples' heads.

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founding
Oct 31, 2023Liked by Etgar Keret

Thank you, Etgar. I am so grateful for your words, perspective, and voice. I recently listened to your conversation with Lulu Garcia-Navarro. And I reflected after, how much your words, specifically the snippets I pasted below, helped me.

“This idea of people saying: Condemn this, condemn that. I don’t want anybody to condemn anything. I say, be human. You see somebody in pain, try to see that pain.”

“It’s the inability to say: I don’t know. I don’t understand. I’m confused. I have feelings, but I don’t have a structure around them. And it’s OK.”

“I think that in our souls, or our minds, or whatever you call it, there is something very complex, some ability to contain ambiguity, not to be swept with only one emotion. To be able to inhale the complexity of existing. And I must say that this became a challenge. It’s not as nonchalant as it used to be.”

I’m a middle-aged, white guy far from your home, far from Gaza. I recognize that maybe these sentiments resonate more with me because of my distance? But I think they resonate with me more because of their humanness....because of how much all of us have those sentiments....I suppose how much we can sit with them, allow them to be real, is the thing that defines so much of us now. I acknowledge I have the ability to do that, where others, closer to the reality of the violence, just may not....

I was a 21 year old living in New York City on 9/11. Trying to make sense of things. That’s when I first discovered your collection: Nimrod Flips Out. I then immediately chased down any work of yours I could find. So much is being said about post 9/11 reactions...I’m so grateful you helped shape so much of mine. You helped me learn how to hold complexity and not knowing in ny heart and mind a little bit longer than was comfortable. Thank you

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Oct 31, 2023Liked by Etgar Keret

These two decades apart essays are both beautiful and sad... capturing the essence of melancholy. There are no easy answers. ♥️

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Oct 31, 2023Liked by Etgar Keret

You always know the right thing to say even if you don’t know exactly what there is to say. Thanks for this piece.

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Oct 31, 2023Liked by Etgar Keret

You are a beautiful soul. Thank you for you gentle words of explanation that make me smile inside. Sending love to the Middle East, as that's all I can really do. ❤️

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All I can say is thank you, with great sadness. I can only write good poetry when my heart is breaking. I know yours is.

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Oct 31, 2023Liked by Etgar Keret

This and your interview (the recorded one more so than the one edited for length and pauses) with the NYTimes was ... like being comforted by an old friend who is seated on the sofa next to me, weeping with me sharing my grief, confusion, anger, frustrations and fear. The premise of your piece here reminds me of how, after several antisemitic incidents I experienced by the teaching staff and the founding Dean (!) of my graduate-level program in Art Therapy(!!) obliged me to explain “Global Racism” in a game-show-type setting and under 90 seconds.(This came after I tried, with all my anger neatly tucked away - remembering that you can’t change heart and minds by showing how your anger and hurt are so deep at their obtuse, self-righteous arrogance and contempt - I spoke calmly with the Dean who said to our class “We all remember the Holocaust [really? Do we?] Well, many people have experienced their own Holocausts.” I gently reminded her of a recent Canadian study that showed most people do not know about The Holocaust and by the way, there are many genocide and only one The Holocaust, one Shoah.By grouping them altogether, a disservice is done in understating the distinctive realties of each one, how they came to be and how they can and should be stopped from happening. And again, there was only one The Holocaust.

Her response? “One of my best friends is an Israeli Art Therapist. I went to that place ... Vashem.” She apologized and said she would correct things at the next assembly. She did not. Instead, she repeated the exact words, prefaced by how sorry she was that “some people were offended”. I should add that this program (while excellent on teaching indigenous experiences and ways of healing, albeit mostly by white non-indigenous people🙄 and as though First Nations are homogenous in their respective cultures and coping mechanisms) did not have a single person of colour, refugee, new immigrant voice in any of the required readings. Nothing. (But hey, lots of Jews! Too bad about them being Jewish though and mostly Holocaust Survivors and children of Holocaust Survivors. What have they got to teach us about healing, am I right?) When I brought up the dearth of trauma from voices of people of colour, etc., we were sent a link to a site that had lots of articles about racism, including lots of antisemitic article, too.

They kicked me out of the program.

And they had no problem keeping my expensive tuition.

Sorry. I didn’t mean to make this about me. But it is is all these experiences - inducing those of us in Canada, in the diaspora - that make us feel intense pain and fear. Things we have grown up with been told to suppress by non-Jews (“that was so long ago ...” Really? Because my Jewish Montreal elementary school had bomb threats when In was growing up. Yours? Every Jewish institution around the world has high security. I have to prove I am safe to enter a shul in Rome, in Barcelona, in NYC and I have to feel safe entering ... but I can walk into the biggest Churches anywhere, I can take off my shoes and enter a Mosque, a Buddhist Temple ... no problem. I can walk into the YMCA without showing my passport, but not so much the YM-YWHA.

Sorry. I did it again.

Etgar, toda. So many of us are carrying these feeling alone even within the communities in which we live, grew up, moved away from. Jewish and non-Jewish. And we fear not only for ourselves, but ya, for ourselves, for our families, for those in our families who have hate in their hearts and whom we are trying to correct, and for those who loathe us. Still we fear for those who loathe us.

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Its always a pleasure reading you.

We are all one soul. We all feel the same deep sorrow. Some kind of emptyness so hard to explain. We are all connected. No matter how far away we are. Is such an amazing thing.

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Oct 31, 2023Liked by Etgar Keret

I have so many people to share this with. Thank you.

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Thank you.

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Etgar you really are cute & i loved your piece about the 3-states-solution, too .

(Don’t forget Eduard Bernstein, by the way)

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Toda Raba and Merci.

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