The Antidote to Hate
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This week we observed Yom Hashoah. While no date or memorial can ever truly allow us to do justice to the memories of all who were murdered and suffered atrocities – or of the heroic righteous gentiles and liberators – each year we try. Each year, we also try again to rid the world of anti-Semitism. The oldest of hates, anti-Semitism is the original conspiracy theory that others use to try to justify the rightness of their racism. Anti-Semitism is the “canary in the coal mine” of xenophobia and bigotry. Time and time again we have seen that as anti-Semitism rises, so too does hatred towards all communities.
Hate festers and spreads like a virus given oxygen. Racism in all of its forms – anti-Black and Brown, anti-Asian American Pacific Islander, anti-Semitism – cannot be given a home. The antidote to hate is within each of us. It lives in our memories that we pass on from generation to generation to ensure we never forget the horrors of the Holocaust or the bravery exhibited even during the worst of times. It’s found in our unwavering ability to see the humanity in each other and our commitment to being in relationship with others who have different life experience. And it comes from our recognition that through coming together as a community we have the opportunity to lift up each other.
It is no accident that when walking out of the main museum building at Yad Vashem (Israel’s Holocaust Memorial Museum), you are greeted by a stunning view of the Judaean hills. These hills are a reminder that our job isn’t only to mourn the loss and suffering but to embrace the hopes and dreams of those who are no longer with us.
They remind us we can – and must – do more for our community and all communities that are the target of hate.
J. David Heller
Erika B. Rudin-Luria
P.S.: Next week, we will commemorate those who died protecting Israel from hate (Yom Hazikaron) and celebrate the 73rd anniversary of Israel’s independence (Yom Ha'atzmaut). We hope you will join us for these special occasions.