Dear Fellow Jews by Choice:
My previous post seems terribly self-indulgent, especially in light of yesterday’s slaughter at Yeshiva Mercaz Harav in Israel.
I was at a dinner last night where a rabbi led us in Kaddish, after saying how “ironic” it was that the killing came on the Rosh Hodesh of Adar Sheni.
I thought to myself, “that wasn’t ironic. That was deliberate.” The first of the leap-month that heralds special joy for all Jews was chosen at its own kind of statement: your joy shall be your sorrow.
As if that weren’t cruel enough, those who were murdered were mere boys, studying their tradition, practicing their religion. They could not have been more innocent. Oh, wait. Scratch that: they were Jewish.
So, fellow Jews by Choice: I am honored to count you, along with myself, among the hunted, the despised and the maligned. If an innocent boy can be deliberately targeted in Israel, then we all have bull’s eyes on our backs, and over our hearts. It takes a brave soul, a soul that is called, to choose to join that company.
Prayer and contemplation, study and mitzvot and acts of tzedaka are important now; but so is steadfastness of purpose, and the refusal to be intimidated away from being Jewish.
A tough job that will only get tougher.
Let’s hang together, as Benjamin Franklin said, or we shall surely hang separately.