Doikayt: Yiddish for “hereness.”
A young british black woman sits on tribal lands surrounded by her ancestor’s people. They ask her for money. She says no. They say: Go away–we don’t need you anymore.
The necessity of her–the hole left by her ancestor’s disappearance–long since filled by others.
There comes a time when you can’t go home.
But you can –understand–.
how do i sit in this space:
I think this speaks to Zionism and Diaspora in ways too complex, and sometimes contradictory, for me to do justice to in a blog post.
On my mind lately:
Doikayt and Ottomanism were about wanting to be citizens, to have rights, to not worry about being shipped off at any moment where someone else thinks you do or don’t belong… Diasporism [a term the author coined] means embracing this minority status, leaving us with some tough questions: Does minority inevitably mean feeble? Can we embrace diaspora without accepting oppression? Do we choose to be marginal? Do we choose to transform the meaning of center and margins? Is this possible?
- Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz, from The Colors of Jews