Bad Girl, Good Business

The 100 Years Club Installment #39: Life During Wartime

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I’ll never forget these frightening times in my life:

  • As a little girl: I stared at the numbers on the arms of my grandmother’s Holocaust survivor friends and wondered if the tattoos hurt. I knew that my step-grandfather’s entire family was slaughtered when he was 14 and he moved alone to London to learn tailoring.
  • As a teenager: Arguing with my mom about the Vietnam War, I threatened to go to Canada if my brother was drafted (as I watched atrocities on a small black-and-white TV.)
  • As a college student: I experienced my first-ever anti-Semitic slur at a party.  It was the first time I felt hatred against Jews.
  • As a young mother: After work, I explained to my daughters on 9/11 that war had indeed come to the U.S. (after promising them previously that it could never happen).

And here I sit, in my sixties, trying to process the horrors in Israel and realizing that I am still not safe, especially as a Jewish American.

Although I’ve tried to live my “normal” life this week, I couldn’t even bring myself to post last weekend, thinking about the thousands of humans who have faced loss and are still in captivity.

And, my heart bleeds for people like me — just parents, children, and workers who didn’t do anything wrong to deserve their fates.

Even at my age, I feel angry and fearful.

  • Afraid for the world my daughters and granddaughters live in.
  • Terrified that humans have not evolved to be compassionate and forgiving.
  • Scared that I’ll never be able to unsee the tragic images and words proliferating on social media and evening news.
  • Helpless that I can’t do more to stop the madness.

So, I attempt to live my life, pretending that war will ultimately end and that I can take small steps every day to educate and inspire people to understand what “my tribe” has lived through over the centuries.

I will call out intolerance when I see it

Enemies and haters hope that their words and deeds will paralyze, silence or distract us. I won’t let them have that satisfaction.

But I’m just afraid I may not see peace in my lifetime.  And that is the scariest thing of all.

41 Most Powerful Songs about War (Anti-War Songs)



  1. April Langus

    Your words resonate with me. I feel guilty not to watch and feel powerless when I do.
    Have felt semblances of anti-semitism my whole life and those feelings remain in my core.
    Why do so many people hate Jews? My heart aches for the people who live in Gaza. They are powerless as well.

  2. Yes, the greatest sorrow is how humans haven’t progressed beyond clubbing each other over the head. Earth, for all its beauty, is a primitive planet. I can only hope that someday we will evolve.


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