My mother, in true Sabra style, underwent a complete overhaul of the Shabbat dinner at our house a few months ago. It’s sasbich all the way, baby: hard boiled eggs, roasted eggplant, potatoes, spicy cilantro, purple cabbage, minced red onion, and amba, a spicy, pickled mango spread that makes up a percentage of any Iraqi’s bloodstream. The food has gotten lighter, but the conversation has not.
I’ve lived on farms and kibbutzim, built mudhouses in the Arava desert, and thought more than once about getting the prestigious club card. My brothers? One lived in Peru and wiped the asses of impoverished Peruvian babies; the older one is a lawyer – okay, not so hippie but he has aspirations of becoming a Zen master, by not trying to become one. Our liberal attitude never clashed with our parents’ conservative one. I think they believe it’s just a phase. But as political talk glides its way onto our table nearly every week, beliefs become more distinguished. See, my parents are great people. They’re also conservative neo-hawks who will vote for anyone as long as they support Israel and won’t hesitate to drop nukes in case shit goes deadly, think Democrats are lying, sleazy scumbags, and that Obama is a Muslim fanatic who no matter what he says, will side against the Jews. Yes, that’s our world.
“His middle name is Hussein,” they say. “He is in love with Louis Farrakhan.” And McCain? “McCain will protect Israel.” That’s cause he’s old and crazy. “Yes, yes he is. Old and crazy.”
I have been told that you have no heart if you’re young and a Democrat, but financially retarded if you’re old and still Democrat. But what gives? Do some Jews get bitten by the money mozzie at age 40 and start voting Red no matter what? I’m trying to make sense of this dynamic: are your parents like this? I can’t be the only one swimming through this rift. How do I get them to see the other side of the political story?
Either way. I’m canceling out my dad’s vote. Like a real son of a bitch.