The Shiksa Diaries

Shiksa is Yiddish for a non-Jewish woman, a phrase meant to be a tad insulting.

Its roots stem from the Hebrew word, sheketz, meaning impure and the object of loathing.

I, on the other hand, always take it as a compliment of being noticed as a gentle woman, rather than a gentile one.

Theres’s a beautiful synagogue not far from where I live. 

A very old Jewish man was headed there during a sudden rain storm. He had a cane, his yarmulke challenged by the wind, so I sidled up to offer him my arm.

He looked at me through what John Quincy Adams called, a darkening eye, seeming shocked I had stopped.

“I am u-kee,” he said, in an old world parlance waving me away.

My humor, always at hand said, ‘What, is it because I’m a shiksa?”

Before he could answer, a huge wind whipped up causing him to stumble.

I quickly grabbed him so he wouldn’t fall, his Torah now at his feet, pulling us both against the side of the temple so we could brace ourselves.

A security guard came out to help, taking him by both arms. This allowed me to rescue the sacred text getting soaked on the sidewalk, managing to unclench the old man’s hands to reclaim it.

While the guard more or less dragged him into the synagogue’s great hall, I hear, “Vait, vait, vere eez’ da sheek-sa? Is she u-kee?”

As the wind stood behind me finally at rest, like a boyfriend who had had a little too much to drink, I hollered…

“I’m here, I’m here…all is well.”

“Toda, toda,” he said, before disappearing into the safety of God’s noble house.

As far as this shiksa goes…

I smiled knowing, toda means, thank you, in Hebrew.



About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
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8 Responses to The Shiksa Diaries

  1. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, I think you made him a bit more tolerant of the impure. One person at a time, opening their mind and heart, can change the world. I’m glad you’re picking up the slack of those who aren’t doing their share.
    Around fifteen years ago, we spent a few nights at a highly Jewish populated small town. Coming from a rural area, I recall my feeling of disbelief when an approaching Hasidic Jewish man crossed the street so he wouldn’t have to walk past me. I didn’t realize why he did it until my husband explained.

    Liked by 1 person

    • People are funny…wasn’t that a quiz show? I truly don’t partake in any kind of hierarchy or prejudice. I’d help anyone. So would you I’ll bet. He looked like a little Hummel shuffling to Shul. 🙂


  2. Helping isn’t saved for people like us. It’s for anyone who needs it and you do that really well. Maybe he said a prayer or two for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How I love your true-life tales! You craft them so carefully that one doesn’t notice how smoothly they move. You don’t blather on, nor do you pare them down until the reader has to search for the meaning. Just perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love these glimmers of humanity they keep the hope alive.

    Liked by 1 person

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