[An appropriate update of June 1, 2019] 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 began discussing 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 from alt-Right jerks. But there is a smoldering anti-Semitism from progressives and those on the left. We see bigotry and hatred of Israel and Jews 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. Oh no. It is Israel that is in the cross hairs of the left. And because many Israelis are Jewish, it is their faith that take the heat.
In Europe it can be 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?
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.”