One of the most popular characters at my Jewish elementary day school was the janitor, Bob. For a third-grader – all the teachers are a mister or a misses, all last names and no fun. But the janitor – he was the coolest, because he wasn't a mister, he was Bob, as if he was a real person with a real first name only, just like one of us.
Of course for third graders – teachers and everyone else who worked at the school, from the principal to Bob the janitor, weren't really people like us. I mean – at the end of the school day we would go home and continue to exist outside of the school. But not so the school staff! Nooo! It is well known to little kids that at the end of the day every teacher goes to sleep in a teacher's desk drawer, until the next day when the first kids come back to school. That's why we weren't allowed to open the drawers in the teachers' desks – because it would be like your little brother seeing your private stuff and your mess in your room! Now I guess the principal lives in the office, the secretaries in the mailbags, and Bob? Well since he's the janitor and has all the keys he can go to sleep in any room he wants, but probably prefers the storeroom which is a room we see only him enter.
That's the weird thing though: in our kids' minds Bob could live a-n-y-w-h-e-r-e he wanted. But in real life that wasn't so, because, you see, Bob was black (I hear people say "African-American" these days, but Bob spoke perfect English without the slightest accent, so I doubt that he was from Africa), and everyone knew that in the Chicago area – black people couldn't really live anywhere they wanted. If you're black you could live in
And that's something that we, as Jews, could understand well. As a Jew you could live in Lincolnwood but maybe not
Maybe concerning Jews in the past I could understand, because, after all, we were "guests" in Europe, it wasn't our homeland – as many (not all) Europeans were fond of reminding us, and the host is the one that decides in which room you are to sleep. But Bob? I bet his family had been "brought" to
And that's the same question I have for Europe today: now that we're back in our homeland – how can
So to the European Union in general, and to