Anti-Semitism Again

Yartziet memorial candle

Again.

Again another place of worship in America reverberates with the hateful sound of bullets.

Again the ugliness of anti-Semitism that has been unleashed under Donald Trump has been given expression.

As Jews do every year on the last day of Passover, they gather together as a community in the sanctity and safety of their synagogues to pray and to say Yizkor, the  ancient memorial prayer for the dead. This time in a synagogue in Poway California, that sacred prayer would end up being for one of their own congregants.

Again my heart is filled with anguish, and fear.

Again I ask why?

How can this be…again?

As dismayed as I am today at this ugly display of hate perpetrated in a sunny California synagogue, I am no longer shocked.

Hate has taken root in America.

Emboldened by Trump, our Inciter-in-Chief, the haters are stepping boldly from the shadows.

Our president is a cancer and Trumpism has metastasized.

The specter of anti-Semitism has always hovered around us, the shadowy world of hate like a sinister ghost I chose not to want to see.

But even as an American Jew, I learned through osmosis the coded language and dog whistles of hate and bigotry. To Jewish eyes and Jewish ears the tropes of today are familiar, as familiar as the ancient prayers of Kaddish said in temple.

In Jewish tradition I light a yahrzeit candle not only for the victims of the tragic shooting at the Chabad of Poway, California but for the soul of our country.

I am sitting shiva for America.

 

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