Because I've lost my voice. Unclear how. My throat feels remarkably scratchy and unpleasant, which kept me up last night, and gave me a chance to think.
You see, yesterday was Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. It rained all day, which always makes me feel (a little bit melodramatically) as if the world is crying. I am one of those people who rarely cries in real life, but always at movies/books/country music songs. I find it difficult to read Holocaust literature for a number of reasons, the primary one being that I'll weep so intensely that it will be impossible to make out the words. For this reason, I often steer clear of Holocaust memorabilia. When I visited the new Yad v'Shem (Holocaust Memorial Museum) in Israel this summer I basically wept my way through. And then stood on the back veranda, looking out over the beautiful land that is Israel, and was struck with a deep, intense, and immediate desire to live there. That desire was only strengthened by my visit to the Herzl museum (hilarious, but not intentionally so), however, after my trip I returned to the US, to my then boyfriend, and a to life that would not easily make the inter-continental transition.
The love that I have for Israel, an intense, physical love, is only matched by my love for the Jewish people. I am one of those lame people who feels as if I (or a member of my family) has succeeded when a Jewish person does something noteworthy. I feel a connection to other Jews, all of those things that people of my parents generation felt, and those of mine supposedly don't.
And I wonder why. Why is it that people who come from homes where two Jews inmarried don't feel that inmarrying is important? I know that there have been studies done on how young Jews feel that being Jewish is only one identity among many, but that doesn't really answer my question. Why was it important enough to their parents? My Dad mentions that even though he interdated in high school he always knew that he had to marry Jewish. My Mom told me not to interdate, because it was unfair to the other person if I wasn't willing to intermarry.
As a result, post-high school I have dated only Jews. My elder brother has dated a mix, but thanks to my intervention is seeing (rather seriously) a Jewish girl (whom I like a lot independently of the match), but my younger brother hates Judaism. Guess which one of us went to a Jewish day school. If you guessed the Baby Brother, you are correct.
I guess what I am trying to say is, I wonder what was different in my parents' generation, what impetus did they feel that my generation by and large do not? I understand why my peers choose to interdate and intermarry, but not why my parents (who were not particularly observant or committed to Judaism in college) didn't. Chance? Or was there something else?