I wish and pray in my heart of hearts that I didn’t have to write this piece and that people could learn to live together as one, but at current, antisemitism is at an all-time high. Antisemitism is the oldest ethnic/religious hatred in the world and as such, it often flies under the radar of most in our society. The holocaust was only one horrific instance of how antisemitism breeds death and destruction for the Jewish people, but still, they persevere today.
Jews are assaulted and murdered in America, face hate, see their synagogues and cemeteries desecrated, and are held accountable for a myriad of things that they have little to nothing to do with. I have seen on social media American companies who sell Judaica and Jewish holiday products get told they are responsible for everything from destroying the economy to killing innocent people. Build a bear workshop (an American company) recently put an ad on Facebook for Hannukah bears (adorable btw) and the hate and vitriol on the ad were deplorable. One comment read “You kill Arabs and should die Jews,” and another said, “Your God is Satan and Israel will burn.”
It wasn’t until I began the conversion process and fell in love with the Jewish people, that I saw so much hatred and antisemitism all over. Even horrible stereotypes such as “Jews are cheap or stingy” are everywhere, meanwhile, Judaism requires many items and books that are not cheap and we are commanded to give to others, love others, and help others (Jew or not). I remember the many things Jewish people were blamed for when I was a nazi and I see those things spread and spoken by seemingly normal people, but each thing is easily dismissed in ten minutes via google for those who aren’t looking to feed their confirmation bias.
Let’s take a look at some of them;
- Jews control the media – This is a blatant lie and in fact, Jews are often demonized in the mainstream media and in movies and TV series. Orthodox Jews and anything Israel-oriented especially, are demonized in the media wholesale and anything to the contrary is vilified. So, if the Jews control the media, they’re doing a horrible job at it!!!
- Jews control banking – This is a half-truth *gasp* I know, but there’s a reason for it. In Europe, Jews were forbidden from many occupations, while Christians were forbidden from banking and money lending, so the only work for most Jews was in banking and money lending. Though the IMF is currently led by an Irish Catholic, so I guess the Irish Catholics now control the banking system nefariously, right?
- Jews control the government – This is an absolutely ridiculous statement and anyone who has followed USA/Israeli politics would laugh themselves into a coma. The two countries are allies, not unlike other US allies, and Jews here in the USA make up a very small percentage of our elected officials.
- Jews hate gentiles – Untrue 110%, the Torah says;
- And God said: ‘Let us make man in our image/b’tsalmeinu, after our likeness/kid’muteinu; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.’ And God created man in His image, in the image of God He created him, male and female created He them. And God blessed them; and God said to them: ‘Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that creepeth upon the earth.’
- This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made him. Male and female created them, and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. And Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth.
- Jews hate Arabs – Again 110% untrue, Jews don’t hate Arab’s at all nor do they act as though they do, they hate terrorism and terrorists, but the number of Arab terrorists who promote antisemitism is tiny. I personally have many Muslim friends and we are brothers and sisters through and through. Even religiously, Muslims and Jews are very similar and we consider each other spiritual cousins.
- Jews are greedy and stingy with money – Tzedakah is a principle commandment in Judaism, that is to give charity to anyone in need. Jewish households all have Tzedakah boxes, where we put money inside and let it build up to give to those in need or charities we feel strongly about. Heck, my 8 and 6-year-olds have their own Tzedakah boxes and put coins inside to help others!!!
There are only an estimated 15 million Jews worldwide out of nearly 8 billion people and are globally one of the smallest minorities, so it’s easy to make scapegoats of the Jewish people. It is due to this that many Jews marched with Martin Luther King Jr. and fought for civil rights alongside our black brothers and sisters. MLK Jr. was a staunch supporter of the Jewish people and we had a special kinship with Dr. King. For more information on this, please read the following;
It’s just been three years since the horrific tree of life synagogue shooting, this atop a mass shooting just six years ago in Charleston by Dylon Roof, should show that we need to stand together against hate, because oftentimes the same antisemites also hate black people and people of color. Antisemitism is a problem for all of us and much like Dr. King, I too have a dream, a dream where hatred no longer exists and we can all live as one. To quote Matisyahu… “One day…”