During the past few days, I have received many wishes of happy Christmas by email. Thanks to all you dear, thoughtful, far-away friends for thinking of me. However, I think now is a good moment to make a clarification and tell that I don't celebrate Christmas.
… Which is hardly a surprise, given the fact that I'm an Orthodox Jew.
… Not to mention that here in Israel our rhythm of seasons and holidays is quite different from the rest of the world.
When I started this blog, I didn't want it to be "Anna's Jewish blog" or "Anna's Israeli blog"; sadly, in my earlier experience I have encountered such rampant anti-Semitism, Israel-hating and Holocaust denial online, that it was often incompatible with expressing any other ideas about unrelated topics. So I decided to remain vague about my religious and national identity, and safely discuss issues such as homemaking, femininity, modesty, cooking, baking and crafts.
However, things happened a bit differently than I planned. The number of topics I discussed here slowly expanded and I often found myself talking about very sensitive, deeply personal matters, while withholding a very significant, very important and very defining part of who I am, of what fills my days and my thoughts and the very essence of my being.
Should I mention that with time, this grew more and more frustrating? And eventually, I asked myself, what am I afraid of? My ancestors went through centuries of persecution; they survived crusades, the Inquisition, expulsions, blood libels, pogroms and the Holocaust. Throughout the generations, they bravely resisted every attempt to destroy them, or make them betray the faith of their forefathers. The very fact that I'm sitting here, identifying as a Jew, means that I come from many generations of people who fought proudly and furiously to preserve this burning torch. Nothing could bring them down - not death threats, not the tempting pull of intermarriage and assimilation. And I'm concerned about a couple of trolls that might bombard me with hateful messages through the internet?
Bring it on, I say.
I would also like to thank the dear ones who supported and encouraged my decision; special thanks go to my friend Michelle at "The Walled Garden"!
I haven't decided yet which direction exactly this blog is going to take. My topics of interest didn't change, so I will most likely continue to discuss them. But I will be able to be much more personal from now on, and share more about myself.
I must say I look forward to that. :)
PS: I hope all my Jewish readers - yes, all 3 of you ;) - had a very happy Hanukkah. To everyone else, I'm wishing a joyful and pleasant holiday season.