I am of Jewish descent and although I am not practicing, I consider myself Jewish. My boyfriend is Italian, we live in Rome. He is wonderful to me, sweet, nourishing, present, intelligent, serious.
At his parent's house, his brother -- an artist and writer -- has a drawing called "L'ebreo" or the Jew. The drawing depicts a man who is thin, crooked nose, miserly, a caricature. The picture enrages me and it hurts me.
When I bring this up with my boyfriend he points out that his brother drew caricatures of everyone for a while, and that his brother is not anti-semitic, and that I am taking undue offense because his brother loves me and would never mean to offend me.
Maybe it's true that his brother means no harm, but I find the picture in extremely bad taste. It makes me nauseous when I see it, and very emotional. It really does fill me with rage.
Do I have the right to ask him to take it down? How can I make it clear just how offensive I find the picture -- without alienating myself completely from his family?
It is very tricky. Help me Bubby!
Dear Jewish Picture Rage,
I think that you should ask your boyfriend to speak to his brother about the picture that upsets you so much. You don't have the right to tell another person what he may or may not hang in his house. There are many caricatures of many subjects. Some are liked and some are hated. But it is the expression of the painter.
Have you discussed religion with your fiance? That will tell you more about him and his brother and the reason for the picture.
Can you live with that?
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