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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000050.txt from 2005/04

From: "Lelia Loban" <lelialoban@-----.net>
Subj: [kl] Prokofiev's Overture (was: Concert Announcement)
Date: Mon, 04 Apr 2005 07:58:44 -0400


Sarah Elbaz wrote,
>Be carful people not to fall into the trap of Nazi
>terminology.
>Its the same as using the terms - 1/4 Jew or half
>Jew- such thing doesn't exsists. Same with Yid -
>it only means Jew - the Nazis gave it many other
>meanings but we shouldn't let them win.
>Use Yid and Jew as much as you want - its ok.

I understand the point you're making, and I agree, on a philosophical
level, about not letting the Nazis win. However, I think there must be
some language differences between what's acceptable in Israel and what's
acceptable in the USA. I'm not talking about what "ought to" be
acceptable, but simply about what is or is not acceptable: In the USA,
when English is being spoken, "Yid" is a fighting word, literally. Tough
guys here call a Jew a Yid in order to start a fight. Though friends in
the USA may sometimes toss an insulting word around in private as a weird
form of bonding, I would never use that particular word, even with my
husband, because I'd be afraid that calling him a Yid, even in jest, even
after 35 years of a good marriage, could erode the relationship. I'm in my
mid- 50s, have lived all over the USA, and have never in my life heard the
word Yid used in public here as anything but an insult. I've never heard
it used by anybody except a bigot or a Jewish comedian making fun of a
bigot.

People here do use the word "Jew" all the time, but the red flag on that
word is that "Jew" is a noun meaning a Jewish person and shouldn't be used
as any other part of speech in the USA. In the USA, most of those other
usages are highly offensive, such as, "He jewed him down on the price," or,
"She has those Jew ideas." I have heard "Jew" used casually as an
adjective by Jews in one limited, humorous context: my Jewish husband and
his family sometimes refer to "Jew food," as in, "Where can we get a decent
corned beef sandwich in this town? Is there any place around here that
serves Jew food?" I don't use that expression, because I'm not Jewish and
I want to be sure I'm not misinterpreted.

Lelia Loban
"I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is
never any use to oneself."
--Oscar Wilde, _An Ideal Husband_.

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