I happened to read this in a recent article in the Jewish Chronicle:

In recent years, as antisemitism has become ever more of a news item… lazy journalists reach for some easy stereotypes of black- hatted and bearded Jews in Stamford Hill to illustrate any news piece about the Jewish community.

This notion might have grown, but it’s not new. It must be over twenty years since my son got separated from his father in a funfair in England. He found himself searching a CCTV screen along with a man who said, “Oh, you come from Israel. So we’re searching for a man with a black hat and a beard.”

Another time, I was sitting in a little tourist train in Bournemouth when I saw two women watching a family whose dress made them stand out. You know, hat, beard, black suit, dress covering knees and elbows, little boys with dreadlocks and tassles. One woman turned to the other and said, “They’re Jews,” and I wanted to say, “We’re not all like that.”

It’s been an awfully long time since I visited Beit Hatfutsot – The Museum of the Jewish People in Tel-Aviv. The part I remember most about it is the never-ending pictures of Jews flashing past on a screen. And they’re all so different.

That’s all I wanted to say in this post. Jews come in all shapes, sizes, colours and dress.

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I looked up “Jews” in some free image sites, looking for a picture for this post. Guess what I found and why there’s no picture attached to this post.

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We’re remembering one Jew and Israeli who sadly passed away two days ago: the brilliant author, Amos Oz. While not everyone agreed with his views, we all acknowledge and appreciate his love for this country.

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Do you want to know what makes a writer tick?

Here are a couple of facts. The first is brilliantly funny. It’s here.

And if you’re still in the mood for something more serious, this is what Amos Oz says in A Tale of Love and Darkness:

… that sour blend of loneliness and lust for recognition, shyness and extravagance, deep insecurity and self-intoxicated egomania, that drives poets and writers out of their rooms to seek each other out, to rub shoulders with one another, bully, joke, condescend, feel each other, lay a hand on a shoulder or an arm round a waist, to chat and argue with little nudges, to spy a little, sniff out what is cooking in other pots, flatter, disagree, collude, be right, take offence, apologise, make amends, avoid each other, and seek each other’s company again.

The period Oz is discussing was a century ago, but what he says is still true today, the difference being that you can now do some of those things without leaving your room.

Happy writing!

If you’re as old as me and grew up in the UK, you’ll probably remember watching two puppets, who used to say things like “Loblob” (for “lovely”) and “Flobberpop” ( for “flowerpot”). If you want, you can see them here:

I suppose that’s where this post’s title comes from, although it’s only vaguely connected to the topic.

Amos Oz’s grandmother used to say:

If you have no more tears left to weep, then don’t weep. Laugh.

I know that because I’m reading his memoir: A Tale of Love and Darkness.

I’ve shed a few virtual tears here about my childhood and what it did to me. Perhaps it’s time to laugh about it. If I can….