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Saturday, December 04, 2004


Endorsement from Down Under

Buddah & BubbaIn Monday's post, I wondered out load how how it was that ITAI reader Debi got to this site via her ex-boyfriend in Western Australia. Debi replied that she was surfing for his name, and that brought her to this thread on Photoblogs.org. Please allow me to quote from Debi's former beau, Hin Chua:

One of my favourite blogs is Steve Rosenbach's 'Imagine There's An Image' at http://therosenblog.blogspot.com

It's not a visual diary at all; in fact, while his photos are nice, I really go there for the writing. It's basically a series of reflections of his life and photography, accompanied by photographs. Steve writes very well; he's very forthright in his opinions and he always seems to have an interesting story from his past to tell.

I love his blog because it's quite different to the rest of the herd, combining good photography AND writing...

Wow! I'm floored, flattered, and touched! And here is the best part:
...and for the fact that as a Chinaman living in Australia, it's always interesting to see what a Jew in Annapolis is getting up to.
Right on, Bro! There's that Chinese-Jewish connection again!

And Hin, I think that there's something to the comparison of a "Chinaman" living in Australia and a Jew living in Annapolis. Baltimore, about 40 minutes away, is truly an American Jerusalem. It has a large, coherent, and knowledgable Jewish community with wonderful spiritual and educational resources. Also, demographically, Jews make up a significant part of the population of Baltimore, Baltimore County, and Howard County. We Hebrews living in the Jewish Outback of Anne Arundel County, on the other hand, are a tiny minority. I certainly still feel like an outsider, even after living here longer than any other one place in my life. And this feeling is something internal to me, it's absolutely not the result of any mistreatment to me as a Jew while living here - there has been none.

But then, I've always felt somewhat different. Being an immigrant and a Jew, I have always had a an auslander's view of society. That's not to say it's better or worse than the "norm," only different. And for that, I've always found reason to be both grateful and delighted.

And if I may wax philosphical for a moment, I think that one of the collective roles G-d assigned to the Jewish People is to act as outsiders, to have a different viewpoint to offer. Ivri, the Hebrew word for "Hebrew" (as in a Hebrew person,) is based on the root AYIN-VET-RESH, a verb stem that can have the meaning of "to be apart or across from" or "to be on the other side."

So in a way, it seems right and proper, an expression of one "outsider's" solidarity with another, for "... a Chinaman living in Australia ... to see what a Jew in Annapolis is getting up to."

Let me conclude today's post with an enthusiastic injunction to all ITAI readers to visit Hin Chau's excellent photoblog.

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