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SHE HAD SAID THE UNSAYABLE
In my mother's mind the word Jew used all by itself, nakedly, as it were, was not a word but a curse. She believed it was used only by people who hated Jews. If it had its three letters--its "-ish"--on the end, ah, that made the difference. If I said that someone was a Jew, my mother would ask me, "So what is he? A no-goodnik? A gangster?"
As I have understood it, my mother had come out on the porch at the very moment Miss Brookie had used the phrase "Jew store" on the telephone with Tom Dillon, before my father's meeting with Dillon. Miss Brookie used it as shorthand for the kind of business my father had in mind...but all my mother knew at that moment was that Miss Brookie had said the unsayable--had said "Jew store." -- Stella Suberman, from The Jew Store