Yesterday, I learned something new. I learned about the Farhud.

I pride myself on knowing the history of my people and my culture. I’ve heard many heartbreaking stories about the Nazi Holocaust.

The Farhud was news to me.

To make a long story short, the Farhud was a pogrom against Iraqi Jews on June 1st and 2nd, 1941. By the time the violence was quelled, approximately 200 Jews were dead, over 1000 homes and businesses had been looted, hundreds were injured and many women were raped.

What bothers me is that I never learned about this. In all of the years that I attended Hebrew school, while the Holocaust was part of the curriculum after a certain age, the Farhud was not discussed.

The suffering of the Jews who lived through the Farhud is on par with the Jews who lived through the Holocaust. It’s time that both were given the reverence and the spotlight equally.


The Process

I wrote in one of my posts last night about the novel writing group that I joined and how hard it is to kill your darlings.

Tonight I want to write about how hard the writing process is.

The group works as follows:

  1. Everyone who wants to submit will submit a section that they would like help on.
  2. The rest of the group, after reading, provides constructive criticism.

The point of the group is not to attack the piece or the writer, but to help each other grow as writers.

One of the members, whom I suspect will not be returning, took the constructive criticism rather personally. To be fair, the piece that this member submitted was a very rough draft and it didn’t quite adhere to the traditional format of a novel, but that is not the point.

The process of creating art is not easy.

The truth is that hearing criticism, no matter how constructive it is, is very hard to take. It is a blow to the artist’s ego. They put everything into their art and it is still torn to shreds. The chapter that I submitted was torn to shreds. The notes from my fellow writers are like a bitter pill that I know that I have to swallow if I want to succeed.

But the reality is that this is the writing process. Letting my work be torn to shreds and receiving constructive criticism will only make me a better writer and one day, hopefully a published writer.

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