Anti-Semitism... What can we do?
In recent weeks, we have experienced a wave of anti-Semitic acts throughout the USA, including a bomb threat right here at Houston’s JCC. Thankfully an arrest was made earlier today and we thank the law enforcement and all those addressing the issue from a security stand point.
What about the rest of us? What can we do?
In a bit over a week we will celebrate the exciting holiday of Purim. At that time, Jewish people spread throughout the Persian Empire, were threatened with total annihilation. The evil Haman, a despicable Jew-hater, had gained the favor of the King. Together they decreed the execution of the entire Jewish people.
Jewish people were well integrated into Persian culture. Their leader, Mordechai, held a prestigious position at the kings’ court, and had been a trusted advisor to the king for years. What’s more, the Queen herself – Esther – was Jewish!
You would think that the threat should have first and foremost been dealt with by utilizing these connections. Yet, when Mordechai and Esther learned of Haman's decree, the first thing they did was lead the community in prayer, repentance and good deeds. Only after days of fasting and introspection, did Esther use her position as the wife of the king and attempt to influence him to obliterate the decree against the Jews.
Now, if Esther wished to impress her husband, she should have gone to a beauty parlor – why was she busy fasting?
Yet, Mordechai & Esther knew that the survival of the Jewish people, despite everything they’ve been through, was miraculous. It is our connection to G-d, and His Divine Providence, that allows us to survive and thrive, despite all odds. Indeed, they certainly did utilize their influence, but that came only after strengthening their connection to G-d!
Today, while we certainly must employ every natural means to combat the ugly Jew hatred rearing its head, we must first and foremost strengthen our connection to our Judaism. Internalizing that it is G-d who is the source of all our blessings.
So let’s take action! Think of one more Mitzvah that you can improve on or introduce into your life, and take the plunge!… I am here to help, so hit me up, if necessary.