Never Again/Silence=Death

“Can you be “less of a Jew?” she asked over lunch. “No, but I can be more of one.” I wasn’t “too Jewish” like Jackie Mason or even Seinfeld. I am so not. Not the American Ashkenazi Jew with roots in Europe and New York that I grew up wishing I was. I grew up Stateless in Japan. Culturally Middle Eastern, Judeo-Arabic, not Yiddish is my mother-tongue. I grew up on Arabic food and Arabic music. Zionism/Israel, inextricably linked to my identity as a Jew, was the offending issue. Several months before being asked to be less of a Jew, she made a request I was happy to oblige. “Help me out here,” she said, “I am surrounded by a sea of pro-Palestinians.” I gave her Albert Memmi’s Jews and Arabs,

Rachel Wahba is a writer, psychotherapist, and co-founder of Olivia Travel/Companies. An Iraqi -Egyptian Jew, born in India, she grew up in Japan. 

The many dimensions of 

displacement and exile are a constant theme in her work as a writer, therapist, and in her activism as a Mizrahi Jew who grew up stateless. 

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© Copyright 2015 Rachel Wahba Writer, Speaker, Psychotherapist