How to fight Anti-Semitism by Bari Weiss

How to fight anti-semitism by Bari Weiss

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As I rise after a full day of fasting, meditation, study and prayer honoring for the first time Tisha B’av. I have recently learned that this Jewish day of Mourning religiously recognizes the fall of both of Solomon’s Temples. The first to the Babylonian Empire and 700 years later the second by the Roman Empire on the same day. The day is often known as the saddest day in Judaism because many other travesties occurred on the 9th day of Av in the Hebrew calendar. Through fasting on this day the goal is to rid
“Sinat Chinam” or baseless Hatred. Which is why it was put on my heart to deliver the book report on “How to Fight Anti-Semitism” by Bari Weiss. A strong progressive approach at erasing the baseless hate that we all now modernly know as Anti-Semitism. The author, who just days ago resigned from the New York Times for many reasons, one specifically being bullied on Twitter. Ironically I became aware of her from one of her retweets on July 12 of a harsh name calling article about myself with a thread that referred to me as a racist pig, brainwashed, ignorant and even a Nazi, and many other disrespectful things about me and my family. So I dove in her book immediately. In this insightful read, the words that stood out to me were “Anti-Semitism is fueled by the malicious but often feeds on the ignorance of the well-intentioned.” Asking myself, is she talking about me? Knowing that my intentions have never been hateful but recently I had fallen into the same category that the author despises and writes about like Henry Ford, Charles Coughlin, and more recently the abhorrent American Terrorist Robert Bowers, who on Oct. 27, 2018 murdered 11 worshippers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the author’s home neighborhood in Pittsburgh, which ultimately inspired her to write this book. Weiss blames the Left and the Right, Intersectionality, and the lack of historical education for the cause of the baseless hate and I would have to strongly agree. She states “A Jew is whatever the anti-Semite needs him to be; a grand unified theory of everything” Our society “turns Jews into the symbol of whatever a given civilization defines as its most sinister and threatening qualities”. The author out­lin­es meth­ods that are most effec­tive in fighting the darkness in which we all experience under supremacy and colonial actions. She references the American practices of Eugenics and Jim Crow that inspired Hitler and the Holocaust. Then goes on to detail the conspiracy theories and propaganda of Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism that we all are supposed to know as false rhetoric. But I can say I am guilty of not having been fully educated in the space of the trigger words and coded conversation. So now consequently I have become a target to the author, just like many of those she writes of in this book. Specifically the chairman of City College of New York’s African American Studies department Leonard Jeffries and even Congresswoman Ilan Omar who Bari Weiss also wrote about in a 2019 NY Times Column titled “Ilhan Omar and the Myth of Jewish Hypnosis”. The author does not pull her punches in this fight, and as a reader you understand why when she reminds us of gruesome examples like the 1915 lynching of a Atlanta Jewish worker named Leo Frank, who was publicly hanged by a mad mob of white Supremacists that used the photograph of this evil act as a postcard… All the way to the recent YouTube video of Daniel Pearl who was beheaded in Pakistan… These are examples why the baseless hate for an entire community must end and that any reminding rhetoric deserves a sincere apology. But in the authors own words in her recent resignation letter to the New York Times she discusses “intellectual curiosity” now becoming a liability in society and the challenges of “free exchange of ideas in a democratic society”, could this book be skewed or reviewed as “one-sided” in a much needed discussion, perhaps? I would love to have the open dialogue with Ms Weiss on my academic podcast “Cannons Class”, like I recently engaged with another fellow friend and “tweeter” Rabbi Abraham Cooper from the Simon Wiesenthal Human Rights Center. We had a great conversation about Truth and Reconciliation between our two communities, that ironically I didn’t see Ms. Bari Weiss retweet at all. In her solutions to fighting Anti-Semitism she suggests building community, loving your neighbor and praising those who do the right thing, along with not “worshiping the group over the dignity of the individual in fear of worshiping another false deity.” I too have the same goal as Ms. Weiss that, “We are a people descended from Slaves who brought the world ideas that changed the course of history. One God. Human Dignity…It is our Inheritance… Our Legacy…” So TOGETHER let’s bring Light into this world and get rid of what is known as its oldest hatred. As the scripture teaches, Today is a new day of improving our own words and actions towards clarity and compassion. All in all, this book was truly an insightful and powerful read.🙏🏾

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