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. I have to say I read it and thought how beautifully succinct in a very positive way. It makes me very sad that people are so keen to not upset anyone that censorship and self censorship is getting out of all proportion. You have only to reread 1984 to see what Orwell wrote about Newspeak and the thought police. Subtly – or perhaps not so subtly – our global society is getting there.

  2. It is easy in the midst of social media to forget why one writes! Why we practice our art through these prompts. You have stirred up a nest with just four words. Well done! I wonder which was the trigger? Poetry is not “nice”, it needs to have subtleties that stir. This quote I saw speaks to what I feel:
    “Man can be democratic, but the artist must remain aristocratic. Yet, we have the opposite under our eyes: the cheap edition of poets multiplies and with it, the consent or contentment of the poets. Do you think you are earning in glory, o dreamers, o lyricists? When only the artists had your book, no matter what, you had true admirers. Now this crowd that buys you for your little profit, do they understand you? Let the masses deal with morals but, please, don’t allow them to spoil your poetry. O poets, you have always been proud, now be more: become contemptuous!”
    – Stéphane Mallarmé
    Keep writing ….Tricia

  3. Man, this is insane, David. They flagged your innocuous post, yet Twitter allows rampant racists, conspiracy theorists and hateful political cults to spread lies by the second. I’m sort of allergic to social media in general–WordPress is the only “safe haven” I’ve found. While I have Facebook and Twitter accounts, I don’t use them and I only have them because other people wanted me to sign up. I don’t think I’d ever want to open up the can of worms regarding posting my poetry on Twitter. I hope you receive a caring response to your inquiry and I hope no more incidents of this type occur. I read your poem as you had intended it and it’s beautiful and hopeful. It’s a shame that even among the “woke” crowd (count me in), sometimes things go too far as another commenter mentioned. I’m with you on this, David. Don’t let this change who you are or what you do. 🙂

  4. That’s a problem with the written word. Many readers are not able to discern the tone and that’s why these emojis have become so popular. The irony is, that in a verbal conversation, the tone gets in the way of actually listening to the words.

    “Listening” is the key!

  5. I thought as A big fat can of worms did. That the person read it too quickly and assumed the worst possible interpretation – snark being the lifeblood of social media. A person looking for something to tick them off? A person not able to shake a first-not-best thought before responding? A person whose status quo is defensive because they’ve been hurt too much? I have also kicked prematurely on social media before and try not to assume the worst now. I have to stay off when I’m in a bad place because I see the worst possible on those days. I figure they didn’t know what Kaddish is and saw Skeptic?? Well-intentioned by ignorant? This is when I think, “Ah, honey” and kind of mentally pat them on the head and give them a cup of water. For my own sanity.

  6. Sorry about the Twitter grump. I cannot for the life of me see how your poem is anything but pro Jews. I’ve read the comments, and I still don’t see someone who is anti-Semitic writing the words you did. Crazy came from Twitter, not from you.

      1. Seriously? That is so strange, especially in the context of so much real bigotry in the world. You are making an observation. There is no judgement involved in it.

  7. I don’t know Twitter but I highly doubt a person even read your poem. My guess is AI picked it up and automatically flagged it as a labeling of a group but In and of itself your four words don’t seem offensive, more like affirming.

    1. 💜💖 Janis 💖💜 – that is an interesting possibility, but it seems not because the individual doubled down with a follow up comment, explaining that my poem was bigoted 😂

      1. Wow! This is stunning. It certainly speaks to our confusing polarizing times but that does not take away the sting of it happening to you. All I can say, this isn’t about you and your poem. May you have peace of heart. ❤️

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