A regular Hungarian building from the outside on Nagy Fuvaros street. Inside, on first floor, before heading upstairs to regular apartments are simple dark wood double doors, with stars of David on each one. A short old man stands outside all day. Through the double doors is a three story synagogue. With space upstairs with enough place for 500 people. One hundred years old. Baby blue walls, blue square columns and a Beemah inside. Large white minorahs shine at the front of the synagogue. At the entrance, a long table with apetizers and another small one with four places. One woman sits at the back of the synagogue. End of Shabat services have 15 people. A man beside me is from Israel. An older man with a pale face, large east European Kippa is in a suit. Most are older, only a one young man and a young woman. The services go by quickly. The torah is taken out, a man is called up to read it and then it is put back inside. We go and sit down at the table. The woman at her own table. Plates with hard boiled eggs, cucumbers, sardines and tomatoes. I sit near Josef, a large Georgian Jew. He speaks Russian.
“I love Georgia but I hate the people. I don’t give a shit about Georgia. All the shit they’ve done to us.”
“I love Ukranians but I hate the country. It’s not a country.”
“I live here, I have a business here my son works here. I planned on staying a little while but now it’s been 20 years.”
“Politics? Why talk about politics, what can I do about politics, what do I know about politics. You don’t like politics, go there. Who are you to talk about them until you’re in that person’s seat.”A blond handball player and his sister Caro sit on a bed across the room at Unity Hostel, Budapest. For two hours we talk about the Holocaust about MyJewishStory about Jewish culture. Her sister works for a Jewish Community Center in New York. I hope to visit them in Germany.
As I interview Regina and Katherine, a woman looks at us with hope in her eyes and desire to say a word from across the coffee shop in Jewish Quarter Krakow. “Yes, come!” Regina says. “Oh yes thank you!” The woman says. “I heard your conversation and I just had to say something.” Blond in her fifties with a hint of accent in her English. My father was a Zionist but he became an anti-Zionist because he believed the Jews would do to Palestinians same thing as Germans did to Jews.”
As we talk I realize how little she knows about Israel and Jewish culture. There is a side of liberalism that is as eager to hate as there are people on the other side. Most people really all the same, their point of views differ but their feelings, their ability to not check information and their hate for reading can be so similar.