Jews, #enduringly stubborn, survive

I was rebuked on Twitter…

Since the beginning of 2022, I’ve been actively responding to various poetry prompts on Twitter, many of which set particular word limits. One such prompt is the #4WordsPoet, which offers a new prompt word every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; and – on February 4th the prompt word was ‘enduringly’, to which I wrote the following:

Then, my ‘4 words’ received this response:

Now, honestly, this is not a matter of my feeling offended; after all, it would seem that the individual running this particular prompt is attempting to defend the sensibilities of Jews, right? And… I’m a Jew; so… thanks, I guess?

Still, I’ve gotta admit that I’m kinda confused.

I mean… what could be considered offensive about those 4 words? As I had intended it, the implication of Jews being “enduringly stubborn” is that despite all odds and many long centuries of persecution, we are still around today, whereas most who hoped to see us gone are themselves no longer.

Am I missing something? 🤔

I’m very curious to get a response.

97 thoughts on “Jews, #enduringly stubborn, survive”

  1. Political correctness and woke culture run amok. The mere mention of marginalize, racialized and underprivileged communities sends everyone into a panic. Doesn’t matter what the message is anymore. Few have endured the atrocities the Jewish community has through history. I say enduringly stubborn is a fitting description of the resilience of the Jewish community and the human spirit.

  2. I wouldn’t worry about it. Any number of things “might offend.” Just because some is offended doesn’t mean they’re right.

  3. Personally, I’m more offended by the idea that 4 words is considered poetry and that this is an actual poetry prompt. But you know how I feel about micropoetry.

    Kidding aside, this is part of why I hate social media like Twitter and Instagram. Lots of people thinking only in terms of hashtags just waiting to be mad and offended about something because no one cares about the context in 280 characters. Blogging may be less popular, but at least the people who read blogs actually seem to read them.

  4. I haven’t read all the other responses so I may be repeating the words of others. But my guess is that the person thought the word stubborn had negative connotations. When you think about it, not knowing you are a Jew, that comment could be taken either way. Like jeez, they’re so stubborn. Hang around like a bad smell kind of stubborn. I know you’re Jewish so I didn’t think to read it that offensive way. But I can understand that the owner of the site wants to be careful what he/she appears to condone.

    1. Yeah… I see that now, Worms ❤

      I do think that such an interpretation (of the comment as hateful) is quite extremist… I mean – for this to be an antisemitic poem, it would literally have to mean that the person writing it doesn’t want the Jews to survive. And – even if this individual doesn’t know that I’m Jewish (which isn’t hard to check)

      Well, I would think that such a potentially extreme interpretation of those four words would lead somebody to pause and check their assumptions about the author before rebuking them.

      Dunno… that’s just me.


      1. Hmm I guess I am more cynical than you. Hatefulness is the main reason I don’t do Twitter, Instagram, etc. WordPress is the only social media i participate in. I haven’t personally experienced hatefulness but a Moslem friend who has an online business tells me awful awful stories. And another friend who is just white, privileged and middle class like me, tells me about horrific stuff she comes across. You’re right, the other reading is too awful to even express. But if that’s the way that person read it… shouldn’t we be glad he/she at least offered a mild rebuke.

  5. Everyone is ultra sensitive, these days David. I started an Instagram account to share poetry and they wouldn’t let me share the first poem because it was about winter being the “dying” time of year! Bye, Bye Instagram account. I feel for you, here. It’s ridiculous, isn’t it?

        1. That’s nuts. If the word ‘dying’ is banned from instagram then they have set themselves up as the thought police. Sorry that happened. You were right to leave.

  6. i am gonna be devil’s advocate and say ( and i know the Jewish people have been persecuted way way way more than Cubans…for a very long time) but I am Cuban (Cuban American) and I can still offend other Cubans …. you know what I mean. I mean I have in the past have said some not so nice things about Cubans. But I could be reading your poem wrong and there was no meanness in it all. 🙂

    1. Art, for sure Jews can offend other Jews – of course! But where do we draw the line at censoring ourselves? I mean… it isn’t possible to live our lives without offending others, is it? Somebody’s gonna get offended by something, don’t you think?

      And – in this case – which I think is ambiguous at best (I admit that’s totally subjective on my part) – she could have asked… I mean… even if it can be read as being “offensive”, couldn’t a thinking individual see that it could also be read in a positive light (then again, maybe not… cuz I didn’t see how it could be read in a negative light)?

      Wouldn’t that be reason enough at least to check (for curiosity’s sake, if for no other reason) with the author?

  7. That is a weird response, David. I don’t see anything offensive about it. And, it’s true! 🙂

      1. I’m with your friend. It was weird. I try to be as “woke” as I can be yada yada yada but sometimes I just gotta roll my eyes and say GET OVER IT PEOPLE. 🙂

      1. Of course if it had been posted as an antisemitic comment it would have been abhorrent, but it so obviously isn’t, coming from you!

  8. You’re Jewish, so it may not be offensive to you, on the outside looking in. It may not even be offensive to other Jewish people who will read it, but I’m sure, as a prompt host on a very busy platform, that host just wants to be sure nothing “offensive” is shared. I left Twitter a long time ago. There are too many prompts and too many ways of getting axed or booted or reported for things that seem “offensive” or “against platform rules.”

    Also, in 4 words, it’s kinda hard to truly explain what you meant by what you wrote as well.

    1. yeah, you’re right about the limits of 4 words, trE… this just happens to be what I associate with the concept of “enduringly” – the survival of my people.

      but I feel you about why you left Twitter. *sigh*

    2. There is no such thing as being sure nothing “offensive” is shared. Those seeking to be offended will be offended, or at least claim to be. The problem is in the eye of the beholder. The meaning of the 4 word poem is obvious to any reasonable person. Which, of course, leaves out much if not most of Twitter…which makes your decision to leave it thoroughly reasonable indeed! ^_^

      1. There were other reasons for leaving Twitter. It’s too busy, far too much politics is discussed, and it just isn’t my “writing crowd.” But offensive has different meanings for different people, and I’ve seen more people get offended than not on there. 4 words is extremely limiting, especially when taking into account what David expressed.

        1. I know. And I would never say that it’s not good to try to be sensitive within reason, of course. But in context – which includes looking at his profile pic and giving the benefit of the doubt, our host’s meaning seems achingly clear to me.

  9. Imagine if a Nazi wrote those words. Now read them in a different tone of voice as that person and not you wrote them. The poem can go either way if you don’t know who the author is. It could be read from the position of a Jew person with a “proud” tone, and it could be read from the criminal point of view with a “disgruntled” tone.
    I am not defending them. I’m just responding to your question if you are missing something. 😉

    1. Oh… okay. But I guess it depends upon whether you think the survival of the Jews is good or bad, right?

      I mean… it seems to me that your reading (which is probably correct) is so blatantly antisemitic that it’s downright evil. Like “muahaha” evil, ya know?


      1. Well, I do consider Nazis to be blatantly antisemitic and evil, yes. So if the organizer of the promt doesn’t know if you are evil or not and what your stand on the survival being good or bad is, I think they just want to be sure that you are not the “muahaha” kind. I am really curious what the response from them will be and if I have the right hunch about this.

        1. I’d love to get her response. What you’ve written does make sense to me though.

          That said, my photo/user icon is of me with a big yarmulke and beard… and a cursory look at my blog makes it abundantly obvious that I’m Jewish 🙂

          Thank you so much for sharing your insight – I really appreciate it.


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