If he could only afford it, Geoff Ramokgadi says he would temporarily transplant himself to Hungary and launch a grassroots drive to eradicate rising anti-Semitism here.Some days my mood is "I bet if I could just talk to these people, they'd see I'm a human just like them" and some days my mood is "they'll never change, so I'll just curse them into hell from here." I like the former mood better.
Ramokgadi, a black convert to Judaism, represents one of the smallest Jewish communities of the world: the 14-family-strong Jewish community of the Kingdom of Swaziland.
Rather bewildered by the recent surge in anti-Jewish sentiments in Hungary, Ramokgadi says he would like to engage in dialogue with the locals here to figure out what lies behind the trend. “We must sit down the people here and ask them, ‘Why are the Jews being singled out? Where should they go?’” he says. “Yes, Israel is a country for them, but here is where they are born, so why are they being treated like aliens?”
Walking down the street the other day, recounts Ramokgadi, he encountered two boys who were playing guitar and asked to join them. “They saw my tag and asked if I was Jewish. I told them I was. Then I took out 10 euros and handed it to one of the boys. He was about to cry when I did that. It all starts with changing one person. One person changes another and then you have shalom. This is all I want. If only I had the money, I would come here.”
Keep on representing the Tribe, Ramokgadi.