A Mezuzah is the Little Box That Says 'We Are All Jews,' and Could Save America!
In my long life, I have never personally experienced antisemitism in America.
I was raised by Jewish parents who believed that the best place Jews ever lived (other than in their own country in the Holy Land) was the United States of America. When the most prominent Jew of the 20th century, Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, the head of the Chabad movement from 1950 until his death in 1994, came to the United States from East Europe in 1941, he sometime thereafter declared that America was a medinah shel chesed, "a righteous country."
Yes, there have always been individual antisemites in America; yes, there have been antisemitic policies (quotas on Jews at Harvard, country clubs barring Jews from membership, law firms closed to Jewish lawyers, among other examples) and there have always been Jews who believed American Christians were no different from Europe's. But the fact is, even with the aforementioned flaws, America has always been a blessing to its Jews.
It is therefore nothing less than tragic -- as much for America as for its Jews -- that for the first time in American history, many American Jews are afraid. They watch the Jew-hatred on college campuses, the large demonstrations featuring calls to wipe out Israel, police guarding schoolchildren attending Jewish schools, and see armed guards at virtually every synagogue in the country.
So much so that many religious Jewish college students, who until very recently wore a kippah with nary a thought, now wear a baseball hat or some other head covering that does not identify them as Jews, and some Jews are removing the mezuzah from the doorposts of their homes and apartments.
This time therefore presents America's non-Jews with an opportunity to do something powerful for the Jews of America. And many would like to.
Unlike during the Nazi era, when helping Jews often entailed hiding a Jew and thereby risking one's life and family, helping Jews now can be done with little or no risk. And if many millions of Americans do this, America and the world will be profoundly affected for the good.
Americans should put a mezuzah on the doorposts of their homes and apartments. In effect, they will be saying, "We are all Jews."
There are powerful precedents.
Copyright 2023 Creators Syndicate Inc.