I knew those people…

October 29, 2018 at 8:35 am 1 comment

I knew those people… Joyce Feinberg, Richard Gottfried, Rose Mallinger, Jerry Rabinowitz, Cecil Rosenthal, David Rosenthal, Bernice Simon, Sylvan Simon, Daniel Stein, Melvin Wax, and Irving Younger.

No, not literally, but any Jew who’s spent any time in a synagogue knows these people. They are the synagogue stalwarts; the kind, loving, smiling, welcoming faces who show up every week for Shabbat. They’re not necessarily the community machers but volunteer to help for everything, show up for education sessions, help make food for the oneg, and seem so part of the synagogue that without them it’s as if a wall is missing. We take for granted that they will always be around.

And now they’re not. A senseless act of hatred took them away in a proverbial second. We are left with disbelief and grief. And afterward… ?

It’s a cliche to say “they will not die in vain.” They did not sacrifice themselves, hatred took them away. Hatred, bigotry, discrimination, prejudice, anti-Antisemitism, are all the same. After our grief, we who are left must say, “I will not accept hatred towards anyone.” And I will not counter hate with hate but with civility and firm resolve to denounce hate mongers no matter their position.

And I will remember those I knew.

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I am a Jew

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Jennifer  |  October 31, 2018 at 9:39 am

    Thank you for the reminder that we should not react to hate with hate but rather respond with firmness. We must speak out against antisemitism, racism and zenophobia directed at the “other”. As a christian my heart breaks at the loss of life and grief stricken families. God Bless you and give you peace and comfort.

    Reply

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