As the world welcomes a new year, Jews yet again face the old reality of anti-Semitic hatred and violence. The stabbing attack yesterday against Jews celebrating Hanukkah in the home of a rabbi in Monsey, NY caps a week in which there was an anti-Semitic attack against Jewish New Yorkers every single day. Every single day.
What is supposed to be a joyous time celebrating family and faith, this Hanukkah has become an open season for attacks against the Jewish community. Despite repeated calls from community organizations and authorities to quell increased violence and rhetoric against Jews, the number of hate crimes across the country continues to climb. The fact that the Greater New York City area has seen its ninth anti-Semitic attack this week alone—following the brazen shooting at a kosher deli in Jersey City, NJ earlier this month—further demonstrates that violence can only be stopped when we as Americans take a collective stand against it.
For billions of people, a new year augurs change. Betterment. So how is it that for Jews, a people who have persisted through centuries of persecution and violence, we cannot have even a single day in which the better angels of our common man are summoned to embrace us and deliver us from harm? What does this say about progress? Change? Hope? We face a new year and a new decade. Let peace be our common endeavor. Let us root out hate in all its forms because where it festers—against religion, color, or creed—it threatens us all.