Dear Readers..


Dear readers,

Anti-Semites should be celebrating the state of Israel. For years they didn’t have a mainstream rallying cry with which they could openly hate Jews. Saying we’re “leaches” or “control the world” made the average American squirm.

No longer. It is now fashionable and indeed “intellectually sophisticated” to single out Jews and their state for hypocritical condemnation. My grandparents were told, “Go back to Palestine; Jews don’t belong here.” Now my generation is being told, “Get out of Palestine; you don’t belong here.”

Same complaints, same claims of dual loyalty, different excuses.

We get a whiff of what it was like throughout the Jewish journey when a mainstream political party allowed anti-Semitism to veer its ugly head, casting a dark cloud over the world.

This isn’t simply about the far left’s unchecked anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is like a virus. Once out, all monsters come out of their closets. Indeed, David Duke is one of Ilhan Omar’s biggest fans.

By nature, I’m an optimist, despite my being knocked unconscious in the streets of Crown Heights when I was a child, and my black hat being taken and thrown away while walking in Paris as a teenager. I’ve always disliked scare tactics and would rather focus on the good taking place around us.

Now it’s different. No one knows for certain how this will play out, but it is certain that all previous dark periods for Jews were preceded by this type of tolerated mistreatment and name calling. This is especially so when morally corrupt agitators play the victim card and seek power through sympathy and comradery while shaming those they want to tear down.

I wonder what the conversations in the shtieblach were like. How did they deal with differences of opinion? How do you keep a spirit of unity when we think the other person’s views are like playing with fire?!

Perhaps we need to learn from the anti-Semites. They view all of us the same. You could have voted for Obama, I for Trump. No matter. We are all seen as Jews.

That’s how we should view it. Whatever our (correct!) opinions are about the current state of affairs, we are all Jewish and are all part of a divine mission in bringing G-dliness and indeed the revelation of G-d himself into this world through learning Torah, doing mitzvot and acts of goodness and kindness. How it plays out is up to our Creator. Our part is to do our job.

This Purim, let us seek out those we fundamentally disagree with. Say a l’chaim with them and uncover how we are really one and the same.

If we do so, we can be certain that just as in the time of Haman Hashem made a series of miracles that ultimately turned things on its head, so too now, Hakadosh Baruch Hu will continue protecting us wherever we find ourselves. Indeed there will be light, joy, gladness, and honor.

Wishing you joyous and spiritually uplifting Purim!