In the Gamarorphans I described what music meant to us. Music – making music – was our main recourse and source of joy. Izzy played the violin, Minnie, Sonia and Rachel played the piano, and Fanny and Sonia sang. Most of the songs were in a minor key, whether Opera “Your tiny hand is frozen” (La Boheme, Puccini) or “Mein Yiddishe Mama”. When the music was playing, everything was warm; when it stopped, it was mostly sad.
The minor key for Jews is the “sorry for myself” key. Most Jews of my generation who live in the West have had it very good compared to the Jews of previous generations. Of all ethnic groups in the West, the Jews have indeed never had it so good. But play a bit of violin, especially in a minor key, things suddenly change. We become all weepy and “remember” the sufferings of our people. Now, if you’re Jewish, you’ll probably get very angry. You’ll probably ask: “What do you mean ‘WE become all weepy.’ You’re no longer a Jew, so, who are you to speak for us?” I reply: “What do you mean ‘no longer a Jew?’ According to the most Orthodox authority in Israel (although only 10% of all Jews) if my mother was a Jew – and Feige/Fanny certainly was that, once a Jew oiveys a Jew. And let me tell you, we would not be having this argument if I was anything but a believer in Jesus Christ, or Yeshua HaMashiach, which is less jarring on Jewish ears. “Many families even consider such a conversion (to Jesus), says Mark Eastman, the equivalent of death! However, if one becomes an atheist, Buddhist, Muslim or an agnostic, you are still accepted as Jewish with open arms!” A Muslim? Hmmm.
Now to get back to what I was trying to say before being interrupted by one of my kith; we Jews are a sentimental bunch, and much of it consists of that sorry for myself stuff, which a key in E minor only intensifies. Forgive my incoherence, I’m listening to Chassid Fm, and guess what key the music is in?