Pesach is over for another year (or thirteen months, as next year is a Jewish leap year, which means an extra month added in). I made it through, just about. I had one twenty-four hour period (over two days) of more bad OCD, but was mostly OK, which is to say some OCD, but not overwhelming.
The last two days were hard in other ways, though. I’ve been anxious/angry about antisemitism and thinking that this is the beginning of the end of Anglo-Jewry, that what is happening in France, where brutal antisemitic murders are increasingly common and largely ignored by the police for political reasons (because they are carried out by certain members (by no means all) of a particular minority group that the politicians don’t want to antagonise) and where the Chief Rabbi has told Jewish men not to wear kippot (skullcaps) in public because it’s too dangerous, is going to start happening here soon. Over the last twenty years there has been a massive increase in aliyah (immigration to Israel) from the French Jewish community (many of whom only moved to France in the post-war era, fleeing antisemitic violence in previously French-occupied North Africa). I could see myself moving to Israel some time in the next thirty years. I could see myself having to move.
That said, while historically there has been a lot of intellectual antisemitism in the UK, including from the left (Bernard Shaw (as far as I know, the first person to say that the Jews are the same as the Nazis, less than a week after Kristallnacht), the Webbs, Chesterton, Belloc, Eliot, etc.) and although England had one of the earliest blood libels, in the modern era there has been little in the way of popular antisemitism in this country. Mosley’s Black Shirts were never a mass movement in the way political antisemitism created mass movements across Europe in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries or in the way political antisemitism has returned (on the left as well as the right) in the last twenty years or so. I believe that Momentum is largely antisemitic, but I don’t believe that the majority of Labour Party members, let alone the population at large, are antisemitic. The fear is that Corbyn and Momentum will offer enough bread and circuses that people will vote for them anyway, because while most people don’t agree with antisemitism, they don’t strongly disagree with it either, or even understand it will enough to disagree with it, particularly after decades of the BBC (which has a massive news monopoly in this country) insinuating that Jews (sorry, Israelis) are a uniquely racist and imperialist people/religion.
Such has been part of my thinking over Yom Tov, along with general thoughts about Western Civilisation tearing itself to pieces as the far-left and the far-right take over, or come close to taking over, in one country after another. And, lo, I look at the news after Yom Tov and there’s been another terrorist attack in a European city. The Jews’ revenge for being demonised by Europe: your cities are now as unsafe as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and for the same reasons.
However, all this has been a distraction from more personal angst. I’ve felt very depressed for the last couple of days. The OCD has been at bay, but I’ve been feeling cut off from God again, lonely and misunderstood. I feel bad that I didn’t make it to shul (synagogue) in the mornings. My parents say I need more “will power” which I find a bit upsetting. I have the will to go to shul, I just don’t have the power, ha ha. It’s hard to do things when the depression and social anxiety team up against me. I was thinking again in shul today that God should have created me as a FFB (frum from birth) yeshiva bochur (Talmudic student) because He clearly loves them all much more than He loves me.
I argued with my parents a bit today. I could see that I had woken up depressed and in a state where everything I say is going to sound grumpy and critical (I’m not sure how much this is depression and how much autism), so I tried to apologise in advance and say I didn’t mean to sound grumpy, I just couldn’t help it, and I tried to sound even-tempered but somehow there was still an argument. I guess it was not entirely my fault. I tried to defuse the situation.
What I have learnt from all this is that I probably do need to date only frum (religious) women. I had been wondering, as frum women apparently aren’t interested in dating me, whether I should date non-frum Jewish women, if we had other values in common (integrity, family, love of learning, personal growth). A lot of people in my family have done this, my Mum has long been encouraging me to do this (I have no idea why) and even my rabbi mentor surprised me by saying it wasn’t necessarily a bad idea, but I feel that if I marry a non-frum woman the mitzvot (commandments) will become a focus for resentment and argument.
Anyway, I’ve avoided the post-Pesach tidy up too long by writing this so off I go…