Why the Jews?
One might ask, Why the Jews? The perennial question. There are no rational answers to irrational emotions.
I remember reading a book called “Why the Jews?” My answer, “Why not?” When my patients would say to me, “Why me?” I wanted to say “Well, why not you?” Isn’t that the story of Job?
Well… why not the Jews?
And as we have been chosen, let us rise up to the occasion as we have done over the millennia. We’ve bounced back from the persecutions, prosecutions forced conversions, immolation, the ghettos in Europe and the Muslim countries of the Middle East and North Africa. We survived expulsions and an attempt to wipe us off the face of the earth with the first ever military-industrial complex established to exterminate an entire people. And now we are facing more hatred and vitriol, not only in the Middle East and Europe, but in Canada and the USA.
But we keep coming back. I think of us as the original “mole” in the game Whack-a-mole
You whack us here, we’ll pop up there. No matter what you try, we keep popping up. Here, there and everywhere. So many places, for so few in number. Go for it, give it your best shot, scapegoat us till the end of time, we’ll be there waiting for you!
No need to whine. Personally, I am sick and tired of justifying and explaining and advocating.
So this year at the annual “Hate the Jews Week” - slightly different from other weeks as this is the official week of Jew hating - let’s respond, especially on campus, with lots of Jewish symbols. Jews and non-Jews coming together, wearing kippot, Stars of David, mezzuzot. Carry Israeli flags-drape them over your shoulders. Walk proudly!!!
Above all, do not avoid the places where the Jew-haters are selling their wares.
Gather there. Right in front of them; set up tables, have a coffee, a bagel, cream cheese and lox, some rogelach. A little hummus. It’s chic to be Jewish in the culinary world! Dance the hora. Ramp up some Klezmer. Sing Israeli songs. Talk loudly about all the great Israeli inventions, especially those that have to do with technology and apps. Brag, out loud, while the anti-Semites BDS themselves.
Don’t take the time to explain to these people why you have the right to exist. They aren’t worthy of your attention. They are emotional, hate- filled bullies-plain and simple. They refuse to accept the truth.These hard core anti-semites on campus won’t listen, nor will they change their minds based on what you say. But they will notice your attitude. They will see by your actions that you give them no credence. You will not be drawn into their false narrative.You will not be there figurative or literal punching bag.
My courageous Lions of Judah: Stand Up. Stand Tall. Stand Proud. Remember you are the descendants of King David and Queen Esther. You are the living memorial for all those persecuted and murdered for being Jewish.
Never back away from those who hate us for BEING JEWISH!
Diane Weber Bederman's love of religion led her into a residency in Clinical Pastoral Education at Toronto Hospital. Living with mental illness prompted her to write, produce and narrate The Many Voices of Mental Illness, a six part radio series podcast on her website The Middle Ground, The Agora of the 21st Century at www.dianebederman.com where she also writes about religion, ethics and politics. Diane is a passionate advocate for Israel and has written for Huffington Post Canada, and now contributes to Convivium Magazine, Times of Israel and CanadaFreePress.