After October 7th
We live in a new world. The fundamental questions that haunted us in conscious, semi-conscious and unconscious ways for 78 years - Are we in danger again? Might our children ever be? - have now been answered.
In German we call this Zivilisationsbruch, a breach/collapse/rupture in civilization. Or perhaps in our picture of it. Our notion of humanity in the 21st century.
To be honest: The two of us, perhaps like many, did not think it really could happen again, did not live our lives as if it actually could. It was comforting to assume it's no longer a realistic scenario, not in the post-war world that had witnessed the Holocaust. Perhaps the only way to pursue an optimistic, hopeful and positive Jewish future after that trauma was to assume that it just couldn't. To heal by believing that we live in a different world, in a reality of Never Again.
And then it did. To us. In diabolic and sadistic ways much beyond "again". The simply inconceivable unreal is now, just as simply, the new well-documented reality - and is being denied, belittled or just made fun of by Antisemites right now, in real time. How do we continue from here?
It will take time, a long time, for all of us to process this trauma. To rethink our assumptions about the world. To understand Antisemitism not through academic theories, but as it is unfolding before our eyes, in the cities we live in. And to write the next chapter in our Jewish story. From generation to generation: