Sunday, June 29, 2008

How It All Started

A few months ago, I was surfing on the internet. I started a video game of a virtual world, amazed of what it had to offer… didn’t go there to socialize or anything, just heard of it on the news and went in by curiosity.

A week later, I was wondering on a virtual beach, discovering the “realness” of it all, when suddenly, I met an odd avatar.

We started talking. He said he was Jewish… I felt safe enough behind my avatar, speaking to an avatar who spoke a very good French (eliminating the possibility of him being a trap…), to tell him about my grandmother, and that I’m Lebanese.

He was moved. He asked if I was aware that I was Jewish. In fact I wasn’t really aware, it was somewhere in the back of my mind… time made me forget its existence.

We talked for hours and days. I discovered he is originally from Tunisia, living in France, and that he is a Lubavitch. I had no idea what Lubavitch meant. Neither the word “Shoah”.
Now, when I look back, I understand how much a learned in a year.

We “met” through msn, on video cam. I met his whole family. His daughter gave me lessons on Judaism. He did too. I used to spend hours, days and nights taking notes.
I was eager to learn. And the more I learned, the more I wanted to know…

A few months later, I was in Paris for a few days. I went to a synagogue for the first time of my life. I was overwhelmed. I even spent Roch Achana with my new spiritual family…

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Revelation

I was 8 years old. One day, I came home from school, and after having a discussion with a friend whose father was a Palestinian writer, I told my mother that Jews are horrible bad people. I could never forget the look on her face…
She then said she has something important to tell me: my grandmother, to whom I was very close, is Jewish. Of course it came as a shock.
This is when I first heard about the Jewish people, the Torah, the Holocaust, and Israel.
I immediately felt I belonged to this People.
For years I had to hide it.
Of course I understood the danger of revealing it: I used to go to an American school, and ironically, in Lebanon, Muslims go to American schools. Christians are more into the French system… Needless to say what I heard about Jews and Israelis on a daily basis, and from both students –my friends- and teachers. I was struck by all the aggressiveness and the hatred.
My grandmother is the incarnation of love and kindness in a person. So for me, she incarnated also my People.
I had to lie low. For many years…

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Motive...

For several months now I’ve been thinking of creating this Blog.
Several months ago, I began exploring a part of my identity, a part that I have always hidden.
Never did I imagine its importance.
Maybe now that I have achieved important life goals, I found myself confronted with its existence and its reality. It was time to deal with it.
Maybe I had to wait for the maturity and the courage to deal with it.
I am Lebanese. I am Jewish.