Our Shabbat Guest’s Scary Question

Our Shabbat Guest’s Scary Question

This past Friday night we hosted a group of 28 students from a top Canadian university, Jews and non-Jews. It was beautiful, sweeter than honey, as usual.

At one point, a non-Jewish student came to talk with me one-on-one in the kitchen.
“I wanted to ask you…my friends warned me not to tag my social media posts that I’m in Israel. They said that if other students know I’m in Israel I’ll get flooded with hate mail. But I’m here now, and I don’t get it. Why do people hate Israel so much?”
I shared with her my take on the current political reality and the ongoing conflict.
And then I told her, “However you need to understand that there has always been antisemitism. And nowadays it’s easier than ever to be antisemitic because they can say, ‘”I don’t hate JEWS. I hate ISRAEL.”
Her question and the troubling reality it reflects, for me, felt like the ominous music that plays during an idyllic family scene in a scary movie.
Things seem peaceful now, but not for long…
But, then I reminded myself, people have always hated the Jews. And we are still here. Living our way of life. Keeping our traditions. Believing in our God. The haters come and go. Rise and fall.
And we, with God’s help, ARE…
Am Yisrael Chai.

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