Monday, July 4, 2016

Alienation Brings New Friends

      It was an ordinary day in the predominately white Gentile tiny Michigan town. There was only one Jew to add to it's human population. That would be me!  Light haired pale faces cluttered the waiting room at the courthouse while I waited for jury duty. Then he appeared.
A Jew.  I was beginning to think they were like the West African Black Rhinoceros - extinct! His blue and white knit yarmulke shouted his presence in the room as he approached the front desk.   My legs became strong with excitement as it pushed my body out of the chair. "My people, my people." 
 Generational stories, traditions and memories of family mingled in my mind, missing the Jewishness of life.  I walked toward the man,not really sure how to greet him. But he finished his business, rushing out the door before I could say "shalom". 
     We did not find the comradery that day.  Instead I connected with a Jamaican couple. We had a lot in common living in this town; a sense of feeling different, a bit of alienation. 

They shared what they missed about their culture and now I have a hungering for some Jerk Chicken and Rice and Peas which I will have when I accept their invitation for dinner.  Still, they do not know the meaning of a kvetch.