Playing Doctor

Initial Visit?

Thursday, April 21

Family Identity Crisis

I escape hearing a lot of anti-Semitic remarks because many people assume that I’m Jewish. A German last name, in many Americans’ minds, equals Jewish. Ironically—in the Alanis Morissette sense of the word (can we start saying ‘Alanisly?’)—they feel free to bad mouth Cubans.

Anyway, at the Hospital the other day, someone asked me if I was a Jew. My friend Yuval, himself a Jew, answered, ‘Erik’s not a Jew, but he is Jewish.’

Which I interpreted to mean intelligent, witty, and committed to improving the world around me—not to perpetuate any stereotypes—and thanked Yuval for his inclusive acceptance of me.

I actually flirted with converting to Judism in my mid-twenties. The plumbing was all fitted correctly, so to speak, and I began celebrating Hanukkah, as a kind of low-impact religion. Or more precisely, all of the holiday, none of the religion. By my late twenties, I’d given it up, for relationship reasons. Given the choice of God or Sex, only a fool would choose God.

‘We are having a tree with presents under it and a ham, not a goddamn candelabra with spinning tops and a fatty goose.’

‘Yes, dear,’ I said, but still made latkes, which my Jewish doorman said were some of the best he’d ever tasted.

I think you can see where this is obviously heading. Recently something has unfolded that has my family wondering whether my embracing Hanukkah wasn’t prescient of…

Can you believe this weather? I’ll have to finish this up tomorrow. I’m going for a walk.


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