Last week my dad and I were having an interesting conversation. Just like many people, especially Jews, we were having a conversation about the recent reporting about the rise in anti-Semitism. My father had an analogy I would like to share:
"When you go to the doctor because you don't feel well, what do you want him to say to you? You don't want him to just say, 'You are sick, see ya later", you want him to tell you why did this happen and what can I do to fix it so that it won't happen again. Now think of anti-Semitism. If all we do is talk about what is happening today, we are not talking about the right things. We need to talk about WHY this is happening, what is causing it, WHERE DID IT COME FROM? Then we talk about how to stop it."
There are so many theories about the root of anti-Semitism. Some say it is the Christians that said that the Jews killed Christ, some may say it is because Jews are different, and yet others may say the Quran says so. The reality is that the Roman's killed Jesus, we are all different and the coverage of Jews in the Quran actually insignificant. So what is going on? The harsh reality is that this is something that has been going on for centuries. When hatred and false impressions are passed down from generation to generation, the root of them and the truth behind them are irrelevant. As long as we allow young children to continue to believe blindly what they are being told at home and what they are overhearing, anti-Semitism, and all hatred and intolerance will never go away. We need our Priests, Ministers, Rabbi's, Imam's, and all religious leaders to come together and as one force stand up to call for a stop to the spread of hatred, in a very public way. Will this happen, who knows, I would hope that it will one day.
In truth, ALL hatred and intolerance will never be 100% eradicated. So what now? Now we have to be diligent about getting to the younger generation. Teaching them in schools about different people, and how no matter how different we all are, at the end of the day we breathe and need the same oxygen to live, we bleed the same color of red, and we ALL ultimately want the same thing - for our families and loved ones to be safe and happy.
Over the past few weeks my father and I have had the privilege to meet and speak to so many young people. Their thoughtful questions, their willingness to really listen is astounding. The best part of it all is to watch how my father has really affected these students. Here are some of their words:
“I have to treasure my family and spend quality of time with them”
“I have to live life to the fullest now that I have the chance.”
How special it is to know that my father has made this impact on these children. If we can touch and affect even just one child, I can only hope we have made a difference. We are continuing to reach out to schools, to try to get our book, Together: A Journey for Survival, into their curriculum. We are hoping that through this story we can teach the younger generation about tolerance and about the consequences of hate.
My hope for you all is to continue to teach the children around you the same lessons. Let's try to make this world just a little better, Together.