As violent attacks by white supremacists/neo-Nazis in this country are on the rise and our Jewish community is one of the central targets, we come together as a Jewish community to support one another. Regardless of political, religious, or personality differences, unity in the face of hatred is vital.
Let us not respond in fear by using these attacks to score political points against one another; or, in anger, by assigning blame. Instead, let us stand up to support the victims, physical and emotional ones.
Let our core Jewish values of family and kindness create a bond of trust that can’t be broken by these assaults against us as Jews and against our humanity.
By reaching out to support others and to seek support ourselves communicates the message, especially to our children, that we are strong and defend our families and community against such senseless brutality.
That said, I encourage you to reach out to Jewish leaders in our community, online or locally, so we can work together to build this kind of supportive community for ourselves and our families.
Here is one response from Rabbi Ari Hart, the leader of a congregation in Chicago, posted on his Facebook page:
Attention White Supremacists:
Your fears are correct:
We will replace you. We will absolutely, without a doubt, replace you.
We will replace every act of hate you commit with ten thousand acts of love.
We will flood every dark corner of bigotry and lies where you lurk with truth and reason that burns like the light of ten thousand suns.
We will drown your hatred with love.
A mixed, rainbow multitude of good, kind, decent people, Black and White, Jewish and Christian, Muslim and Hindu, Buddhist and Atheist, Gay and Straight, Left and Right, will stand up to you, again and again, and again and again, and we shall overcome you.
-All of Us
Building on this poignant poem, I want to cite the verse from the end of the song of Devorah in the book of Judges 5:31 that states:
“So may all your enemies perish, Lord! But may those who love You be like the sun when it rises in its strength.”
When we connect to our core values, especially when attacked by evil forces, we are like the sun rising in its strength. I view this image as a reference to the sun rising at dawn dispelling the darkness.
By staying true to ourselves and our ultimate values we will naturally rise and triumph over those who attack us.