I have inherited a lot of things. Most of who I am, my character is inherited. I do so many things that people before me have done.
It is hard to explain. The only people I know who speak of inheritance are Jewish people.
When I realised that my own family had a unique history, I began to read about Jewish people.
They used words like ‘inheritance’ and spoke of a family carrying on a tradition.
Jewish families will often live as part of a Diaspora, with only a few members actually making a home in Israel.
They may visit Israel, settle for a while, but not like it very much, and tend to move back to Europe.
They need to carry their history with them, all the stories and memories, or they would lose it. An example of someone who has lived in both Europe and Israel is the writer Dina Rubina. She speaks of a family with a history in her work, e.g. ‘The Puppet Syndrome.’
A Jewish family who lives this way might understand how my own family lives.
We passed on so much from one generation to the next. It was not weighed, filtered.
It may not even be beneficial. For example, so many in my family drink. We have not broken this pattern, even though it is not beneficial.
I know that I need to look at my own character, and weigh up what parts of me are good, and the changes I need to make.