Sabrina Orah Mark’s monthly column, Happily, focuses on fairy tales and motherhood.
“If we didn’t have rules,” I say to my sons, “we’d all be on the roof in our underpants talking to the clouds.” “But what if the rule-maker is bad? What if he hates us for no reason? What if he hates kids and brown people?”
I learned about the Nuremberg Laws as a kid in yeshiva, and I learned how those original laws bloomed and spread like a virus into more and more laws: Jews are prohibited from buying cake. Jews must surrender their fur, wool, typewriters, telephones, bicycles, cars, radios, dogs, cats, and birds. Jewish children are prohibited from going to school. And, eventually, Jews cannot exist. I think I was nine. I had a dog. I would hide her, I decided. I’d break all the laws. I’d make sure my brothers always had cake. I’d exist.