Behar: Are Jews Obsessed With Anti-Semitism?
Are Jews too obsessed with anti-Semitism? Do we alleviate the problem by highlighting it? What should be our collective response to the rise of this hatred? A healthy person gets to know himself/herself by looking deep within. To define ourselves by the way others feel towards us is a recipe for disaster! Unfortunately in an age dominated by social media this has become a new reality. We have become afraid to think independently. It is not cool to be true to ourselves. We have lost the courage to act with conviction. This is where our role as a people is vital. Throughout history the mission of the Jewish people has been to challenge the popular trends of the day. Whether it be the introduction of Monotheism into a pagan society. Justice for the stranger. Charity for the poor. We have been a beacon of light in challenging darkness, apathy and hatred. It is certainly a cause of great concern that anti-Semitism in this country and around the world is becoming more prevalent. However it is so sad to see that for many Jews this has become a dominant feature in framing our national identity. Perhaps this is our challenge today. To begin to discover our true identity and historic purpose. To spend time in getting to know the great Jewish heroes and their contribution to the history of the world. To be inspired by the stories of our ancestors and their valiant struggles in living a life imbued with a sense of duty and purpose. To define ourselves not by those who hate us. But by our illustrious past. A past which has been dominated by great man and women who have made this world a better place for all mankind. To challenge ourselves to continue their legacy, despite all hostile popular trends. This is what it means to be Jewish. It is also perhaps the most effective response in dealing with those who try to undermine us.