Today at UCLA, hundreds of students were chanting, “Israel, Israel, you can’t hide, we want Jewish genocide.” This isn’t 1930s Germany–this is 2023 Los Angeles, California. Yesterday, a man broke into a home in Studio City after seeing a mezuza on the door post, intent on killing Jews.
For anyone who has ever said that anti-Zionism isn’t anti-Semitism, well there you go.
As a Jew, I’m both encouraged and severely discouraged, heartbroken and scared. I love America for the freedom it has allowed my family and I, and I love my friends and family who have supported me through this, especially my gentile friends/ family who have let me know that they will always have my back, and are horrified by the hatred and the absolute blindness to evil.
Evil exists and must be eradicated, yet I don’t know how to do it, how to know what is my responsibility. How do you eradicate evil when innocent people will die? I believe firmly that if you come to kill me or my family, my friends, or my fellow humans, my responsibility is to kill you first. Yet I’m so saddened and pained that innocent people must die to eradicate evil.
The Jewish tradition is such that every year during the Passover seder, we recite verses discussing how we, as Jewish people, aren’t ever allowed to celebrate victory when our enemies are dying. The Jews were oppressed by the Egyptians, killed, enslaved, and treated horribly, yet when they were drowning God said, “my children are drowning, don’t you sing, don’t you celebrate.”
I would love to know how you deal with the unnecessary deaths that come along with getting rid of evil.
Please know that the Jewish people don’t celebrate death to anyone, even our enemies. We despair death to innocent people, and we are in so much pain at the suffering of the innocent.
I saw something that sums up the predicament that the people of Israel and Jews worldwide face.
If Israel put down their arms and said no more violence, they would immediately be eradicated; our neighbors would come and kill each and every one of us. Yet if Hamas and our enemies put down their arms, we would only have peace.
This week, I beg everyone to speak up and remind others that hate speech isn’t okay. It’s not freedom of speech. Not calling evil what it is, and comparing defending one’s people to outright murder of mothers, fathers, and children is completely unacceptable.
IF NOT NOW, WHEN?
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love
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