Anti-Semitism is never funny. This past week, Dave Chappelle abused his platform on NBC’s Saturday Night Live to spread lies, hatred and conspiracy theories about Jews. For us as a people who only a generation ago experienced the murder of 6 million of our brothers and sisters, there is nothing funny about the Holocaust. Chappelle’s defense of the anti-Semitic rantings of Kanye West and Kyrie Irving is dangerous because it adds fuel to the fire of a growing trend that it is socially acceptable to mock Jewish culture in public forums. This spreading of hate should have us all concerned. We are only four years since Pittsburg, the worse mass murder of Jews in American history. Last week we observed the Yahrzeit of Kristallnacht, the night of mass murder that was seen as the beginning of the destruction of 1,000 years of Jewish life in Europe. Our history has taught us that Anti-Semitism is never something to laugh about.
So what can we do?
The most effective way to counter hate is with love and friendship by developing healthy relationships with our neighbors. This has always been at the core of our mission at Temple Shaaray Tefila. Our Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service is just one of the ways we proudly join as Christians, Muslims, Jews and people of color to celebrate diversity and deepen respect and partnership within our greater community. I urge you to come this Sunday at 4pm-5pm to the Bedford Presbyterian Church for our Interfaith Thanksgiving Service, which will feature our cantor and choir. This is our opportunity to strengthen and deepen the spirit of partnership and friendship in our area.
We all want a world that is more tolerant and respectful of human life.
Our Torah reminds us “All human beings are created in the image of God,” and therefore all people deserve to live with dignity.
We can help realize this vision.
I ask you to come to the Temple to make meals at our Thanksgiving Social Justice Program when we make more than 3,000 meals to feed the hungry in Westchester County.
Please do your part to stem the tide of hate by spreading the love of humanity at our Interfaith Thanksgiving Service, and our feeding the hungry program.
This is an important Mitzvah!
Rabbi David Wilfond