Monday, June 14, 2021

Every time an antisemitic attack occurs, I feel compelled to write, but I haven’t until now.

I know that we are a nation that is “rodef shalom”—we pursue peace. However, with all the recent attacks on Jews all over the world, why must we remain sitting ducks?

It is apparent that we, along with our children, are living in an increasingly antisemitic world. When will self-defense be a mandatory part of the physical education curriculum in our yeshivot and day schools? Why isn’t it a priority? It should go hand-in-hand along with tefillah, chumash and Gemara. By the same token, why aren’t shuls offering self-defense classes to their members?

We must build the confidence and faith in our children that wearing a kippah is not something to hide, but something to be proud of. This past week I was thinking about what a helpless feeling it has been for me, and must be for others, to stand by, unable to protect our Jewish brothers and sisters being attacked. Something needs to change. We must continue to live proud and unafraid.

“Tikun Olam” is part of our mission as Jews; we must continue to make the world a better place. We as a nation are not meant to live selfishly, but selflessly. Let us do so with our kippah-covered heads held tall and proud.

Earlier this week a rabbi was attacked in Manhattan. He was followed and verbally assaulted, even as he walked into a Chase bank. Surprisingly, the news showed him in his long beard and black hat, bringing food afterward to the bank workers who were willing and able to help him.

In his beard and black hat, the rabbi did what a Jew does; he showed his hakarat hatov to those who helped him. He was attacked for looking like a Jew, yet afterward he showed the world what a Jew truly looks like. A Kiddush Hashem can be a powerful tool. Let us empower our children both spiritually and physically. The time is well overdue.

Lena Dickman
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