Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Antisemitism All Over Again

What follows is my sermon from Rosh Hashanah morning.

Let’s talk about anti-Semitism – again. To be honest, I don’t very much want to talk about it. I would prefer to talk about just about anything else. I always prefer to speak about the positive, about what makes us sing rather than cry, what makes us dance rather than what makes us afraid, but this year is different.

How could I not talk about anti-Semitism in a year when not just one American synagogue was attacked but two, when Jews were murdered as they did the most Jewish of things, give thanks for the blessing of the seventh day?

How could I be silent when eleven Jews were murdered as they gathered for Shabbat prayers at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue? The sacred phrase, tree of life, now has a tainted resonance.

How could I as well speak about something else when the State of Israel continues to be vilified and even compared to Nazis in progressive, liberal circles?

How can I remain silent when those who murder Jews are praised among those who profess to champion the rights of women and minorities?

How can I talk about singing and dancing when synagogues are vandalized, when Jews are attacked in our city’s streets and the walls of our own nearby park spray painted with swastikas? I could go on. But I need not. The examples come at an almost daily pace.

I very much wish I could pick up the phone and speak with Annie...

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