Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
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This is not the message we had planned to send.
Heading into the long weekend that commemorated the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we looked forward to having time to revisit his teachings and consider how far we have come as a society – as well as how far we can still go. We looked forward to sharing our thoughts with you and hoped it would inspire some of you to share with us.
Instead, this past weekend was largely consumed with fear and anger as we watched the news of yet another Jewish house of worship being invaded by a gunman. This time in Colleyville, Texas. We cannot thank law enforcement and the first responders enough for their heroic efforts to resolve the situation, as well as to care for the hostages and their loved ones. However, Dr. King’s words do offer us all some particularly poignant reminders today.
First, for those who want to pretend this weekend’s attack had nothing to do with Jew hatred or antisemitism, Dr. King reminds us that “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking antisemitism.” The terrorist targeted this specific synagogue on a Shabbat morning, during services, for a reason and not by accident or convenience. Any suggestion to the contrary is gaslighting – plain and simple.
Second, for those who want to pretend that antisemitism is just a problem for the Jewish community, Dr. King points out that “In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” In other words, it is incumbent upon all of us to speak out against hatred in all forms and not just when convenient or in vogue. No community alone can rid itself of racism and xenophobia. Only together can we be stronger than hate.
May we work together to heal the brokenness in our world. As Dr. King taught, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
J. David Heller
Erika B. Rudin-Luria
p.s.: As our security provider – JFC Security, LLC – teaches in all security training sessions: if you ever see anything that just doesn’t seem right, please call 9-1-1 immediately.