Night

It’s a Wednesday evening.  You’re at home having dinner with your family.  Smiling.  Hearing stories from your children about their day.  And the doorbell rings.  Again.  Again.  Sharp banging on the door.  You put your napkin on your chair – get up and answer the door.   Seven hard-looking men in uniform, carrying guns, are there.  One, an officer, spits out the words “you have one hour to pack.   Be outside in one hour.”  He turns on his heel while the six men press into your home.  Guns leveled.  And your dinner begins to cool. . . . .

This scenario happened over.  And over.  And over again from 1939 to 1945 for those in Europe who were Jewish.  Once outside the door, often families were separated.  Sobbing children dragged away from hysterical parents.  Occasional shots rang out.  An infant might be tossed in the air and used for target practice.  Families stuffed into trucks or trains.  And transported to their death.  During the Holocaust, 6 million Jews – two thirds of Europe’s Jewish population – were murdered.  Elie Wiesel’s classic Night recounts a small chapter of the horror.  

The United Nations gives a smiling pass to China, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other totalitarian governments.  The United Nations Human Rights Council includes Sudan, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya and Venezuela.    Who do they condemn?  Israel.  A lone democracy in a troubled region.  A nation trying to survive despite the violent networks that surround them. 

Increasing numbers of people – even supposedly educated elites in academia – rise up and spew hatred at Israel and the Jewish community. 

There are 2.1 billion Christians in the world.  1.8 billion Muslims.  One billion Hindus.  And 14 million Jews.   And who gets it in the neck – from increasing numbers of people in Europe, the Middle East and even America?  Read my post on anti-semitism (June 1, 2019). 

It’s a Wednesday evening.  You’re at home having dinner with your family.  And there’s a knock at the door. . . . . .  

Night. 

 

 

Anti-Semitism

Donna and I went to a local synagogue to hear James Carroll speak about his book The Cloister. The presentation was on a Saturday following Shabbat services. As we approached the entrance, we were greeted by a heavily-armed security guard – wearing body armor. We looked okay so we entered the temple.  And I donned my kippah. . . .

Mr. Carroll, a former Catholic priest (who remains a devout Catholic), discussed his book — and the love story of Heloise and Abelard.  But then he edged into the issue of anti-Semitism which has roots going back more than a thousand years.  14 million Jews in the world.  1.8 billion Muslims.  2.18 billion Christians.  And who today gets an uneven distribution of hatred?    Yep. . . . .

I just finished the book Anti-Semitism – Here and Now by Deborah Lipstadt.  Read it.  Please.  Most of us are aware of anti-Semites on the alt-Right.  But there is a growing anti-Semitism on the left — especially in American colleges and universities. For the latter, it is pointless to ask why we do not boycott human rights abuses in China, Russia, Syria, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Sudan, Zimbabwe. It is Israel that is in the cross hairs of the radical left.  And because many Israelis are Jewish, it is their faith that take the heat. 

There are glowing embers of discrimination in Europe.  It is dangerous for a man to wear a kippah in public.  Synagogues are guarded by police.  And Jews feel concerns for safety from the moment they arise in the morning.   Anti-Semitism.  Making a comeback.  But did it ever leave?   

It is a small collection of alt right jerks who wave their despicable flags.   But for increasing numbers on the left to indulge in anti-Semitism is troubling.  Randy Rosenthal’s Chicago Tribune review comments and quotes Lipstadt’s work “And so if we think ourselves to be liberal, or progressive, or simply decent, ‘we must insist that anti-Semitism be treated with the same seriousness as racism, sexism, homophobia and Islamophobia.'”  I hope you say “Amen.”