Global, Identity

The Adventures of a Jew in Greece

The last two weeks I’ve been hopping around the Greek isles, an amazing experience. I especially loved the island of Santorini, which some believe to be lost Atlantis. During my time there, I befriended several locals, including The Nihilist, a Greek-American man who had gone to the island to lose himself in ouzo. My last day, this exchange happened:
My last night in Santorini was spent with the expats. There are a lot of them there, English and Australian kids who come for two days, then stay seven, and then find a job bartending and stay forever. Unlike the Nihilist, they stay out of love and not a need to self-immolate.
The Nihilist stayed to send me off to the ferry. We talked about my job. I told him I was a Jew.
“Keep that a secret while you’re here,” he said.
I’d already been to the Jewish Museum in Athens, read about how ninety percent of the country’s Jewish population was wiped out during the Holocaust. There were artifacts they had preserved from the synagogue in Thessaloniki and photographs of the aging survivor diaspora, now in New York or Los Angeles and cuddling their grandchildren.
“Every year on Easter in Santorini they burn an effigy of a Jew because they think the Jews killed Jesus,” he said coolly.
(Read the rest here)

8 thoughts on “The Adventures of a Jew in Greece

  1. Your anti-Semetic experience in Greece was so unfortunate. You should understand that the Greek Orthodox Church does not condone the practices the local told you about. Just like any other country you visit there are always going to be uncivilized, backwards, yahoos. Next time you visit Greece, try Corfu, where my family’s from. It is on the Mediteranean side of Greece. The Jews of Corfu, including my family have an incredible history that most Jews outside of Greece don’t know about. Even in 2006 my family has a very strong connection to Corfu.
    Please visit the link I provided as my URL(although I have no connection to that site). My elderly family members are among the 65 members listed in the community. You will find a beautiful Grecian Island, without the gentrified(well, mostly) “Ladies Drink Free” signs in English.

  2. Santorini was featured on Decoding the Exodus . It was shown how when it blew it caused the plagues of Pesach, of course with Hashem’s doing

  3. I was in Santorini with my sister waay back in the 80’s and had a remarkably similar experience. I was asked “what I was” “ameriam” I replied, “no, not that. what are you really?””Jewish” silence then – “you are very brave to have come here – be careful, and don’t tell anyone”.
    In Istanbul, a few years back, toitally different, welcoming and warm, many conversations of depth.

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