Stronger Than Hate!


Today eleven Jewish worshipers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania were gunned down in cold blood by a crazed, anti-semitic white nationalist as people of faith were in Temple praying.  I am weeping as I try to write something to reflect how I am feeling.  Eleven people killed, 6 wounded, at The Tree of Life Synagogue. The largest mass murder in the Jewish community in the United States of America.

I grieve, and I hurt. I do not personally know any of these people,  but I feel like they are my family.  You see, we all share the same faith.  We are Jews. And we all come from a community of peace loving people, brought up to believe that it is our duty each and every day to do a “mitsvah” (a good deed) to help other human beings.  Our responsibility in this life is to give back to our communities and help our neighbors.  And therefore, Jews anywhere in this world become my family. My “mishpucha”. And I cry because I feel a deep sense of loss today. This could have been any one of us.  I have known this reality since I was a child.  But, during my 6 decades on earth I have come to feel safe in this amazing country of mine.  It is only in the last two years since this President has been in office, have I begun to fear for my safety  and the safety of my family.

The President says an armed guard could have stopped this madman with deadly weapons.  There were trained officers trying to stop the shooter and four of them were wounded. So, respectfully, Mr. President, an armed guard wouldn’t have stopped an Anti-Semitic monster with a machine gun and other firearms. He was  hell bent on killing Jews in the middle of their morning prayers.

And what kind of leadership does it show this nation when our President didn’t even bother to cancel his political rally tonight after such a tragedy occured? He has trivialized the deaths of my fellow Jews and those brave officers and citizens who were injured along with the families who are grieving the loss of loved ones.  There are no words strong enough to express my disappointment in American leadership today and the pain I am feeling along with such helplessless.

The Prime Minister and President of Israel have offered their condolensences and prayers and offered sanctuary to the grieving families, and yet our own President has not done as much.  To say I am disappointed and angry is an understatement.

I ache inside. But I rise up. We Jews are stronger than hate!  We have survived miraculously through the centuries and held onto our faith. We will continue to pray and be strong. And we will persist in helping our neighbors of all faiths during this violent time in America. Yes, we will continue to fight for justice, even when the world around us seems unkind and unfair.  The history of my people is immortal.  We always survive as a people. ALWAYS!

I look to my faith tonight and pray that I can protect my children and grandchildren from the rising hatred and anti-semitism that has lifted its ugly head during the current administration.  And I vow that I will do whatever I must to keep my loved ones safe.  We will survive and defeat those that try to take us down. And we will not do it with hate. We will do with it with kindness and love.

“To Life! L’Chaim!”

Please join me in the prayer for the dead.  The mourner’s kaddish.

12 thoughts on “Stronger Than Hate!

  1. Since you posted this, Lesley, TheRUMP has expressed his grief–for the inconvenient way the synagogue killings “halted [his] momentum” on the campaign trail. I think that says all we need to know about our president’s utter lack of humanity and empathy. If it was only him, he would never have gained a national stage. But it is the rising tide of nationalists, around the globe but prominently here, that are making this horror show possible. Who among us, and how many of us will survive to tell the tale of these atrocities, I don’t know but I do believe that nothing is static in this world. Even as our soldiers are sent to the southern border to battle exhausted families seeking refuge. Even as the most basic tenets of our constitution are being challenged by the very people sworn to uphold it. Even now, we are on our way to some other hour. The “thousand-year Reich” lasted a decade. The sun set on the Empire “the sun never sets on.” I have to hope the new hour we are headed for will hold more kindness, generosity, and cooperation than this one. It could hardly hold less,

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  2. My heart is breaking for these people and their loved ones. My heart is also breaking for this country and what it has become in a few short years. This hate and bigotry has been below the surface and now it comes bubbling up because those people feel empowered by a President and others that basically say this is their country, take it back from those who they perceive don’t belong. Over the years I felt like we were making progress but I guess it was just a dormant volcano looking for the weak spot to erupt. Good people do exist and we need to give them a voice, not just post arm guards everywhere.

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    1. Thank you for commenting. I know we have made progress since I’ve watched how far Women’s rights have come since the 70’s when as a young divorced mom I couldn’t even get a credit card without a husband’s signature. And while I suspected anti-Semitism existed, I rarely saw it first hand in the 80’s and 90’s. But with the current leader who mimics Hitler’s speeches and hate rallies, he has encouraged mob rule and hatred, encouraging his supporters to act like brash bullies and to become home land terrorists. The mentally ill, the intellectually challenged, the right wing zealots, and the bigots feel empowered by his rhetoric and have become emboldened. It’s like watching a Nazi Germany documentary only it’s happening now in our communities. All we can do is vote blue to get rid of the hatred. We can’t stand on progressive principles anymore. We must vote out hate so we the people can walk the streets again without fear.

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  3. 😦 I read the gun atrocities News stories over here in the UK, all to regularly and always shocking, as you’re probably aware knife is the chosen weapon over here in the UK however an incident either plays out as a single wounding or one murder (one is one to many!) But nothing on the scale of America’s awfulness.

    Leadership trickles down from the top and President Trump doesn’t help when he starts Tweeting remarks tapping into people’s fears over here, his Tweets are NEVER helpful they’re either upsetting the Muslim community or Politicians have to give Statements denouncing his rhetoric.

    Why do I say this? I’m neither anti American or anti US Presidents, thousands lined the Streets when Obama visited I watched it all on the TV (Stonehenge), but after a mass shooting Trump’s responses always seems to placate the gun lobby, decent people crave leadership!…………. “Arm the teachers and arm the Church/Temple worshippers” he says, wouldn’t it help if he gave a Statement saying “we’re going to ban army assault rifles from the Streets”, perhaps one day sanity will prevail?

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    1. I hope so Andrew. But, I fear sanity will only return to my country when this leader is voted out. He has been a blight on our way of life as the death toll of innocents continues to rise during his selfish reign.

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