A friend of mine posted a piece of glurge on facebook. It was a story of an unidentified baby girl whose mother died in the Holocaust, was raised by gentiles, discovered her Judaism through Chabad, became a pediatrician in Israel, and was injured in a terrorist attack whereupon her long-lost father recognized her as one of a pair of twins whom he assumed had been killed, because of a unique necklace. I asked the poster if it were true and he responded — whether or not it’s true you know you can help people by giving to charity, and he gave me a link to a Chabad charity that helped to convert Jews to Chabad’s brand of Judaism. When I complained in the thread that it disrespected the victims of the Holocaust to post heart-warming stories without regard to their veracity, a woman countered, in essence — what’s wrong with glurge? Why not post your own stories that you know are true rather than criticizing the stories of others. (I think she said “putting them down”.)
I think glurge stories are like counterfeit currency. Like counterfeit currency they are parasitic upon our institutions of real testimony. Like counterfeit currency they lead to a debasement of real emotional curency.
I have a real family story of the holocaust. My grandma Gisele (Gussie) avoided the holocaust by emigrating at the age of fourteen against her parents’ wishes and by working in the garment industry in New York was able to get her family out of Europe, thereby saving them.
It is much less heart-warming than the story of the long-lost twin and the gold necklace, but it’s true. If people believe glurge my grandma’s story has to compete with fake stories. There is no way she can win.