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  • Writer's pictureJeff Eaker

Being Jewish Sucks

You're probably expecting me to walk that headline back pretty quickly. I’ll give it a shot. Being Jewish sucks. It’s probably not as bad as being black or gay or republican, but it’s still a major drag. It’s actually probably a lot like being a republican. Nobody likes republicans except for other republicans. It’s the same with Jews. Nobody really likes us except other Jews. And it’s only when we’re with other Jews that we can let our kinky hair down and allow our really super Jew-ey side to show. I’m sure republicans feel the same way. It’s only when they’re together that they can comfortably talk about how much they hate women and brown people.

It's also kinda like being gay. Everybody hates them too, but the similarity I’m referring to lies more in the way you can kind of hide it if you want to. Or need to. We Jews are sometimes difficult to spot when we’re not wearing our yarmulkes. We blend in. It’s why a lot of Jewish people will go out of their way to somehow let you know that they’re Jewish within the first ten minutes of meeting you. We’re not as sneaky as your local proud boy would have you believe. We want to make sure that we let you know who we are so you don’t accidentally say something that’s antisemitic. It’s a service we perform for you. We want to let you know so you don’t start talking about how some guy was trying to Jew you down on the price. It’s never good when your religion or cultural identity is used as a verb.

Kanye West seems to hate Jews a lot these days. Which is probably fair. I’m Jewish and I’ve hated Kanye West for years. Maybe he got wind and that’s where all the talk about DEFCON 3 is coming from. Which, by the way, isn’t really that bad. DEFCON 3 just means our military readiness is raised above normal levels. The Cuban Missile crisis got a DEFCON 2. Maybe Kanye is just sort of annoyed with the Jews? It’s not like he’s got his bombers in the air.

The Kanye stuff doesn’t really even bother me that much. It’s like being hated by Styx. I can live with it. Maybe it’s my inferior Jewish brain or the fact that my ears work well, but I honestly couldn’t name more than maybe two Kanye West songs. So, I’m fine with the least talented Kardashian not being into my peeps. If it were Khloe maybe it would be a different story.

It's unsettling to see the posts popping up on social media where people say they support their Jewish friends. You know you’re fucked when your race, religion, sexual preference or cultural identity becomes a virtue signaling meme on social media. That’s when you know it’s time to bunker down.

It’s also wise to keep an eye on the rising rightwing global appetite for fascism. Which America seems to be heading towards with the full-fledged support of the republican party and its legion of proud boys, promise keepers, Q-Anon followers, Trump supporters, white nationalists and good old fashioned Klan members. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center there are 733 hate groups currently operating in the U.S. I’m guessing Jews are a hot topic in those groups. I have no idea why.

Maybe it’s our food? Jews have really, really shitty food. It’s fucking awful. And kosher makes it even worse. Our most famous contributions, bagels and deli aren’t even ours. Bagels are most likely descendants of Bavarian pretzels and corned beef is fucking Irish. We got a lot of chutzpah for trying to claim that as our own. You want authentic Jewish food? Have some matzoh. We invented that when we were hauling ass out of slavery in Egypt. And any culture whose best dessert is made out of egg noodles has absolutely nothing going for it in a culinary sense.

I wish I were Italian. Now there’s a culture. The food is incredible. The women are beautiful. And the men have exquisite taste in cologne and gold jewelry. Italians are fantastic. Bellissima!

Jews and Italians have always gotten along. Mostly in the mafia and in advertising. In the creative departments of the 50’s and 60’s all the copywriters were Jews and all the art directors were Italian. I have no idea why and not a clue where David Ogilvy fits in, but that’s the way it was.

To be honest, I’m scared. Being Jewish sucks. I’ve been picked on my whole life and I’m gonna miss just being made fun of when they start rounding us up again and sending us off to the camps. That shit did not happen so long ago. Those people are still alive. Think it can’t happen again? Guess what… it already is.

The people who used to keep all of this stuff to themselves and their Nazi fuck buddies have all been emboldened by people like Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, Tucker Carlson and the rest of the gang at Fox News. They’re hanging signs on freeways. Projecting messages onto college football stadiums. And crawling out of their dark corners where they used to hide their hate. Now they wear it loud and proud stitched onto stupid red baseball caps and printed onto bumper stickers that say, “Fuck your Feelings.”

Meanwhile, Elon Musk, the world’s richest man who now owns the world’s most hateful platform is letting people back on who shouldn’t be there. It’s only a matter of time before he lets Trump back. Elon is turning out to be a real tyrant. I believe he fancies himself a strongman. He also tweets out ridiculous conspiracy theories and grew up the son of a wealthy mine owner in South Africa. When I was growing up in Houston, basically half of the Jewish population in my neighborhood were South African Jews. They all got the hell out of there in the 1970s. I don’t think they were much more welcome in South Africa than the black people. So they beat it. That’s the one thing about Jews. We know when to scram. If you’re ever in a dicey situation and not sure whether or not you should split out of there, just look around and see if there are any Jews still hanging around. If they’ve left, you know it’s time to make your exit.

As I write this, I just got an email from the Jewish Community Center about another bomb threat. I get about 11 of these a day it seems. We don’t even belong to the JCC. We did when we first moved here. It’s amazing. It’s the largest JCC in the U.S. But then I started getting locked down every time I went there to work out. Or I’d get an email about a bomb threat and I’d worry about taking my kid there for daycare. We canceled our membership and joined the YMCA. I think we blend in fairly well. Thank God, my kids have straight blonde hair. No Jew-fros. Which are amazing by the way. If it didn’t scream Jew—and trust me, you never want to scream Jew—I’d grow out an amazing one. My friend Steve had a massive Jew-fro in college. We called him Epstein because he looked like Juan, the Puerto Rican Jew from "Welcome Back, Kotter".

So it fucking sucks being Jewish. Our food sucks. No one likes us. Several times through-out history we’ve been rounded up and either enslaved or massacred. And the whole world is going fascist. I don’t stand a fucking chance. And if Steve still has that massive Jew-fro he’s probably already been rounded up.

“Steve, if you can hear me, buddy. I’m coming man. We’ll find you. No one fucks with Epstein.”

We also have shitty holidays. Why are they shitty? Because they’re all historically correct. Most of our holidays are either about being enslaved in Egypt or trapped in a cave for 8 days surrounded by an invading army. And for the record, I never got presents over eight nights during Chanukah. I got a couple presents just like everyone else and my parents gave them to me on the first night. So don’t hate us for getting 8X the Christmas. It doesn’t work that way. If it did maybe being Jewish wouldn’t suck.

Another wonderful thing about being Jewish is if you grow up in places like Texas or move to southwest Missouri you get to be everybody’s first Jew. Imagine trying to explain Yom Kippur and why you won’t be at practice that day to a Texas high-school football coach.

Brandon was my best friend growing up. I loved going over to his house. They were totally the opposite of being Jewish. They had Miracle Whip. My god did I love his mother’s boloney sandwiches. One time our parents decided it would be good for us to experience each other’s religions. So, Brandon got all dressed up, went to synagogue with us, listened to a bunch of sad shit about being hated by everyone and had to stand up and sit down every four minutes. Then I went to his church. I think we had bathing suits on because afterwards we were going swimming. They had a rock band. It was fucking awesome.

Synagogue was never my thing. I resisted from the start. I was a good kid. I respected adults. I behaved fairly well at school. I followed the rules. But when I went to Sunday school, well, it brought the devil out in me. I’d get in fights. Skip classes. Get chased by the rabbis. I was a terror. They called up my parents around the fifth grade and basically begged them to stop sending me. So, my religious education wasn’t the best and I didn’t go to Hebrew school because it conflicted with all my sports which means I didn’t even get a bar mitzvah. Maybe that’s why I still feel like a child. I’m not even a man in the eyes of the Lord. Yet I’ll still be hunted down like a dog once the republican party finally crosses over the edge into full blown Marjorie Taylor Greene mode.

Being Jewish sucks. Kanye West fucking hates me and half the planet thinks I’m part of some global cabal who secretly controls the media. I don’t fucking control the media. I can’t even get a full time job at an advertising agency. I drive a Jetta. I don’t have a space laser. I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think anyone has a space laser. And if they do, it’s probably pointed at the JCC we used to go to and I’ll get an email about it shortly.

I’m honestly scared. I don’t go to synagogue anymore and it’s not because I fucking hate it. Go drive by a synagogue during the high holidays. You’ll see a dozen cop cars parked out front of each and every one of them. They’ve got people on the roof with binoculars. It’s terrifying. So not only do you have to get dressed up and listen to shitty stories about the holocaust, but you get to be a target for a major terrorist attack at the same time. Man, being Jewish sucks.

Frankly, I don’t want to be anything anymore. I just want to be a citizen of the universe and if half of our population weren’t out of their fucking minds I’d be happy to take pride in being an American again. When you’re a kid and you’re Jewish and they start to tell you all of the horrible things that have been done to your ancestors by basically every major civilization in history, they always try to make you feel better by telling you that you’re safe now because of America. We’re finally in a place where everyone is equal and we’ll never be rounded up and put into camps again. We won’t be looked down on. We won’t be hated.

Well, guess fucking what.

Thanks for reading. I’ll see you again real soon.

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