Thousands of Jews joyously celebrating the Siyum Hashas, feeling proud of our Yiddishkeit and Torah accomplishments.
Thousands of Jews feeling unsafe and uneasy after attacks in the neighborhoods of Monsey, Crown Heights, Williamsburg, and in our subways,
We live in the United States, the most amazing country in the world. This country allowed our grandparents in and made them feel safe. We live in the only time in Jewish history where we simultaneously enjoy freedom in the Diaspora while also having Israel under its own sovereignty. And yet, we face many single acts of anti-Semitism in America and even worse in Europe. Why is this?
I think the answer is that until now, people who were anti-Semitic would never feel comfortable expressing their true views and feelings in public because it was unacceptable. Today, this is no longer the case. We see so many college students attacking Israel in the name of freedom, and members of Congress spouting rhetoric in the name of equality in the Middle East. When this behavior is accepted without question, it becomes normal and open season to attack in the name of a bigger issue.
Let’s send a message to our public figures and elected officials. What starts with Jews doesn’t end with Jews – that’s only how it starts. Once you start acting this way to people who you dislike or disagree with, it will spread like a virus to other groups.
I would like to express my gratitude to our local elected officials who showed their support by openly condemning these acts, but I would also like to challenge elected officials to start a new campaign which encourages their politicial peers to be sensitive about public statements issued regarding the Jewish community, Israel, and any other minority group. People do hear what you say, and as we are seeing, even well- intended words can have negative consequences.