Within a week of opening their Massachusetts Avenue Chabad center in September , a cutout of a swastika arrived in the mail with no return address.
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Avi, who is 32, recalled a more ambiguous incident from earlier that summer, when he and Luna, 29, were looking for a place to live in Arlington. As they were driving down a suburban street, Avi rolled down his window and asked a passerby what he thought about the neighborhood.
Did the man look at Avi and see another gentrifier in town? Another millennial snapping up real estate and ratcheting up costs? Although he grew up in neighboring Lexington, Avi is keenly aware of the pervasiveness and destruction anti-Semitism causes globally. In his teenage years, he went to school in a Paris suburb, where, Avi said, he routinely endured name-calling and worse. Once, an attacker shoved him down an escalator at a Paris train station.
To ward off another assault, Avi had to defend himself and a friend with pepper spray. Avi has relatives who were murdered in the Holocaust.
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His grandfather fled Nazi-occupied Poland for Shanghai when he was 15 before settling in the United States. Surveys show Jews are the most highly regarded religious group in the country — more popular than Catholics or Protestants — despite representing less than 2 percent of the US adult population.
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Saxe pointed to a few factors that may be contributing to this uptick in anti-Semitic behavior: Record wealth inequality, he said, has provoked immense anxiety among struggling Americans and for some, Jews and immigrants are convenient scapegoats. Social media has fueled the dissemination of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Other researchers and civil rights groups lay the blame on President Trump and his inflammatory rhetoric against Muslims and migrants.
Boxer cites the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. Before the arson fires, the Bukiets made a habit of leaving their doors unlocked in keeping with Chabad tradition. Also known as Chabad-Lubavitch, Chabad is a Hasidic movement within Orthodox Judaism that emphasizes unconditional love and acceptance above all.
Any Jew seeking help, faith, or charity, they ensured, would feel welcome in their home. A sign advertising their home security system is prominently displayed on the sidewalk in front of their elegant teal Victorian. Arlington police regularly swing by.
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He had just spoken to Lori Kaye, a close family friend. She had come to the synagogue Saturday to honor her mother, who had recently passed away, Goldstein said, standing before a group of reporters a day after the shooting with both of his hands bandaged. He had sunglasses on.
I couldn't see his eyes. I couldn't see his soul. The gunman killed Kaye and wounded three others -- including an 8-year-old girl and her uncle, who was visiting from Israel. She was at the synagogue to mourn her mother.
She was killed while protecting the rabbi. He was booked into San Diego Central Jail early Sunday on one count of first-degree murder and three counts of first-degree attempted murder, according to the San Diego Sheriff's Inmate Website. Though police have not commented on a motive, an anti-Semitic open letter by someone claiming to be Earnest was posted to the anonymous message board 8chan before the shooting. Authorities are also investigating a possible link between the suspected gunman and a case of arson at a mosque in nearby Escondido last month, according to San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore.
Investigators have determined that the suspect acted alone, Gore said Sunday. Open letter referenced attacks on houses of worship. Detectives are "collecting digital evidence" and are in the process of reviewing the online content "to determine its validity and authenticity," the sheriff said.
In the open letter posted to 8chan, viewed by CNN, the writer talks about planning an attack and references other attacks on houses of worship, including the shootings at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. The writer also talks about his disdain for Jews and claims responsibility for a mosque fire in Escondido last month -- a week and a half after the attacks in Christchurch.
Graffiti referencing the New Zealand mass shooting was discovered at the scene of that fire. If you want to be a prophet, become an even better pastor. I frankly think that the whole prophetic model is somewhat overrated.
Ignore The Haters: The Israeli Rabbinate Does Great Service!
Face it: all of them except, notably, Jonah — who was preaching to gentiles. But, if you are going to go that route, remember what Reverend William Sloane Coffin said about ministers who took controversial positions from the pulpit. In contrast to the pulpit, which is one way and frontal, classes, workshops, and public forums provide numerous opportunities not only to speak, but to listen. If you make ample time and space for conversation, people will feel heard, and that will lower the emotional temperature.
Oddly enough, congregants are often more receptive to projects that get people to act on values, than they are to sermons that invoke those values. Rather than speaking about the fissures in the social fabric, get people to do things that will help heal those fissures. Collect clothing for refugees. Start local Muslim-Jewish dialogues. And finally, read about how other Jewish leaders have faced challenging times. I am an inveterate reader of rabbinic biographies and sermon collections.
By entering their narratives and their words, we find comfort and strength — especially because they lived through far worse times than we have. Rabbi Jeffrey K.
PARSHAT of Rabbi Avi Weiss
Salkin is the senior rabbi of Temple Solel in Hollywood, Florida. Jeffrey K. Salkin is the senior rabbi of Temple Solel, Hollywood, FL; the author of ten books, and the author of Martini Judaism: for those who want to be shaken and stirred, on Religion News Service. Home Share Search. Email Facebook Twitter.
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