You are one quarter Ashkenazi, and lately you’ve been thinking a lot about that, maybe because you named your daughter Roberta after your Grandma, who was the daughter of persecuted Jews who fled from Russia to Brooklyn in the early 20th century. You’ve been thinking about it in casual but open hearted ways, like flipping through her synagogue’s cookbook and deciding to try your hand at Challah, and feeling close to her as you read her contributed recipes, you’ve been considering hosting a Shabbat dinner and doing a menorah this year. All of this is very embarrassing because a lot of your friends are what you might call actual Jews, but what is that? And your whole life you’ve been about as white and Christian as they come, all new testament bible verses and pumpkin spice lattes. All of this sort of stops, or does it deepen? When war overtakes Israel in the most brutal of ways. The internet assaults you with your own ignorance, and makes you question all of your questioning. You’re not supposed to take Israel’s side, or Palestine’s, because both are violating human rights and killing babies, there’s a deep history there, you’re not supposed to say anything until you understand it, which you can’t. This makes you grab your own children, each one eighth Jewish, and smell them. They smell like milk, and leavened bread.

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