And the fight against anti-Semitism persists. This time it was the Kosher food market in Jersey City. Armed with an assault rifle, the two perpetrators attacked the market, murdering three innocent people, one of whom was not even Jewish.
How shall we respond? For sure, we can’t give up in our struggle against anti Semitism. Nor can we give up our hope of a time when such evil no longer exists, hard as it is to imagine such a time. And no, we dare not become deaf or dumb to the various hatreds that are found in our society.
We must continue to speak out against all forms of prejudice, even as we continue to form bonds of friendship and trust with other groups in our society with whom we share, not only victimhood, but determination to persist in teaching tolerance and understanding to our children. Yes, as Jews, we stand with all good and decent people in the quest for a better time.
I think of our own community and the role that our congregation plays. Whether it’s our preparation of Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for the needy, or our housing the homeless in our own temple home; or our involvement and leadership in virtually every worthy local cause, I believe that our Jewish congregation is perceived as adding something good and important to our larger community.
Is there anti-Semitism in our communities? Of course there is. We all know it whether we have experienced it personally or not. But I do have faith that we live among good people, most of whom would not tolerate any form of prejudice and bigotry directed against any group. “Not In My Neighborhood” was embraced as the slogan a few years ago when prejudice against our Latino population was on the rise.
Yes, it’s painful to learn of attacks against Jews. But at such a time especially, let us remind ourselves of how precious is our heritage and the values and ideals for which Judaism stands.
Let it be….that our children and grandchildren will yet know a better and safer world. A time when the “angel” that is within humanity will have prevailed.
Rabbi David Greenberg