Moving Past the Hate
by Dr. Afshine Emrani
I was 9 years old, the first time I was beat up. I was one of 5 Jews in a school in Tehran, Iran. I was hated for being smart and loved by my teachers.
One afternoon, on the playground, I was attacked by 4 guys who kicked me repeatedly so hard in my manhood that I could not talk, walk and could barely breathe for hours. Most people have no idea how this feels, because you can't ask for help.
Who's going to take your side when you are part of a tiny hated minority? So, you have to leave your life in the hands of someone who wants to go against the tide to rise up to your help. Even as they screamed "kill the dirty Jew" an older boy yelled "leave my friend alone." He most likely saved my capacity to have children, and perhaps my life.
The next time I was beat up was by a gang of skinheads in front of my all-Jewish school in Manchester, England. I came home with blue and purple eyes, a swollen face, a bloody nose. Same theme again- Jew hatred. No one rescued me this time. They just tired of hitting me.
You never forget these people and how helpless they make you feel. They are all the same. The methods change, but the intentions are the same- to hate you, to destroy you, to dominate you, because you are a Jew.
Here, in these blessed United States, the same people are now trying to bully me, not with their fists, but with pseudo-intellectual discussions. They know nothing of my life, of what I do, of whom I protect because I was once defenseless myself, of whose lives I've saved and how many, but they take my words out of context and take snapshots of my page and repost them only to start kicking me in the face and in my loins with their words.
Believe me, they are the same disgusting people, cowards whose power is in their gang mentality and in the hatred in their hearts. They wear fancy clothes and speak proper English, drink Shiraz wine and afternoon latte and live in mansions in OC and drive red Teslas, but they are the same vile, Jew hating grown up children of my yesterday.
As for me, I will treat you now as I did then. I will block you, forget you, and forgive you for your narrowness, because I have better things to do with my time in a country that will defend me, where I don't have to rely on the mercy of a kindhearted bystander, because the law is on my side. So go on and marinate yourself in the hatred of all Jews, and I'll go on Praising God who has blessed me with a career to care for people like you.
Because, while you were busy beating up defenseless kids, I was busy studying to save lives.
Because Judaism teaches the value of life over all else.
Because the best revenge is a life well lived.
Because America stands with Israel.
And, yes, because I'm a proud Zionist and that makes you burn.
Dr. Emrani is a cardiologist who writes about mystical Jewish and Persian traditions, while drawing on art, medicine and current events to empower people. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org