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Violence against Jews a sign of increasing hate in the U.S.

01/08/2020 01:09:39 PM



What could cause such hate in a person that would drive them to kill and injure innocent members of a minority group?

I was troubled by this distressing question once again, when on December 28, during the last candle lighting of Hanukkah, an intruder with a large knife burst into the home of a Hasidic rabbi in a New York suburb, stabbing and wounding five Jews who had come to celebrate Hanukkah.

In the face of this horrific violence, both the Jewish and non-Jewish communities responded with resilience and unity, which is ultimately what the story of Hanukkah represents.

This eight-day holiday celebrates the Maccabees’ victory over the Helenists during the time of the Second Temple. The Helenists joined forces with the Syrian-Greeks in suppressing Judaism, advocating a total assimilation into Syrian-Greek culture. The Maccabees, however, rejected their efforts and fought back, leading to a Jewish victory.

Resilience runs in the blood of the Jewish people — from the earliest persecution by Pharaoh in Egypt, through the persecution by the Romans during the time of the Second Temple, through the Crusades by the Catholic Church beginning in the 11th century, through the Spanish inquisition in the 1400’s, through persecution by Czarist Russia in the 19th century, and finally the mass genocide in the Holocaust by Nazis and their collaborators. Jews were always targeted yet consistently showed resilience and determination.

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