My TC Jewfolk Year in Review

Contributing writer Jason Kapel, as depicted by his 10-year-old daughter, reflects on his first year of TC Jewfolk posts.

One year ago I joined TC Jewfolk as a monthly contributor, new to the world of blogging, and appreciative of the opportunity to be a part of this great community. I never could have predicted the range of topics, the groupings of words, the fun I would have being a part of TC Jewfolk. So at the risk of sounding self-absorbed, let me look back at what I’ve observed and learned over this past year.
Be careful what you write, because once it’s up, it stays there.
The second post I wrote looked at a common question among singe parents – when to introduce a special friend to your children. In that post, I jokingly quoted the famous shirt, “Shiksas are for practice.” I don’t think that way, of course, but it fit the discussion.
I have been lucky to make some new friends in the past year, and as you know, potential new friends sometimes Google you to learn more about you (okay, they always Google you). On multiple occasions I got an email or IM that said, “Shiksas are for practice, huh?” or “I’m just practice, huh?” They were all said in good humor, I think (I hope), but as a result I learned to tell any potential new friend that when they Google me, they will find me here and will see some things I’ve written that I don’t actually believe. The best defense is a good offense, right?
You never know what’s going to generate topics and discussion.
Good writing should generate some type of reaction, right? And sometimes a negative reaction creates a more interesting dialogue then a positive reaction. At times I’d try to be a bit controversial, with no response, and other times a seemingly throwaway comment (in my mind) would generate the most discussion. Here are a couple one-liners, some of which generated dialogue, and some of which slipped right under the radar.

  • In the Bacon & Lox series, the title “Jewish Deli Virgin Gets Deflowered” didn’t raise eyebrows, but plenty of people were ready to weigh in with their favorite local Jewish deli.  And in the same post, the line, “Readers, any idea what makes the pickles different and why it is tradition to serve them? “ continued to generate comments ten months later. Who knew?
  • In another Bacon & Lox post, I used the food bacon as an metaphor to talk about non-Jewish women. Unfortunately, I was a little too subtle in my analogy. Not only was the metaphor missed by many, it also generated some comments from people that really don’t like bacon. Of course, that subtlety allowed for some fun writing, and the double entendres were flying all over that post.
  • My favorite line of the year also slipped through mostly unnoticed. Discussing a new website that encourages us to write our own #ish (Twitter-like descriptions of what makes us feel Jewish), I threw out a couple possibilities for my own ish, including, “The guilty pleasure of eating our forbidden fruits – like ham, improperly slaughtered cows, and non-Jewish women.”
  • Trying to come up with ideas for how to keep the memory and learnings of the Holocaust more alive and relevant, I probably could have worded my thoughts better, or at least used words other than “party,” “happy,” and “fun.”

Blogging is really an oddly public form of therapy, isn’t it?
I consider myself a private person, but for some reason am willing to write anything on the pages of TC Jewfolk. The very first post looked at my first two years of post-marriage life. Other posts helped me through a break up, looked at the effect the Holocaust and my grandfather has had on my life, promoted my own pet causes, held open dialogue with my father in the comments sections (he‘s totally going to comment about the subhead of this section), touched on recent evolving spiritual beliefs, and inexplicably continually referenced non-Jewish women. These pages have allowed me to say the most outlandish goofy things I could think of, team up with other writers, write my first book review, and even explore more serious topics.
I have no idea what the next twelve months of posts will bring, but I‘m already looking forward to writing next month’s post. I hope you continue to take the journey with me, and thank you for hanging on this long.