In the Shadow of Charlie, Paris

There are soldiers with guns positioned all over Paris, especially in the Marais where there are many Jewish businesses and synagogues.

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A very young soldier with a machine gun politely asked me not to take his photograph. So, I did not. These pictures of plaques commemorating murdered deportees and resisters are probably more appropriate, given that yesterday was the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

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Despite the terrible events of the past weeks, life goes on and we will always have Paris.

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You wouldn’t know it to look at me, one more offspring of the marriage of cultures, but I am equal parts Ashkenazi and Japanese. I don’t usually feel particularly Jewish nor do I feel all that Japanese on most days. Mostly, I feel like me. Ambling through my days as I shop for produce or stop for lunch, maybe picking up my dry cleaning or taking in a movie, I am pretty much a figment of my own imagination.

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But, it hits home when you realize people want to kill you because of the composition of your DNA. Or, because you felt like stopping at the Kosher market for gefilte fish or matzoh crackers. Or, whatever it is that Kosher people eat in Paris.

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