The attack on the Pittsburgh synagogue has brought forth good words from a variety of sources. The Pope, and key people from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Palestine joined Jews from Israel, locally, and throughout the US and elsewhere, as well as the US President.
Subsequently critics reviewed the comments and actions of one and all, measuring their comments against some standard. Among the notes was that the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel had failed to refer to the building as a synagogue.
Against that were comments from Pittsburgh praising the mutual support received across the spectrum of Jewish organizations: Chabad and Orthodox, as well as Conservative and Reform.
The tragedy is widely cited as the most deadly of anti-Semitic acts in American history.
A host of organizations claiming to work against anti-Semitism have counted an increase in recent actions, ranging from overturned gravestones to personal attacks on individuals wearing kipot or the garb of the ultra-Orthodox.
Whatever the history, the attack against Jews has now reached the level of anti-Black outbursts, and perhaps those against one or another of the LGBT cluster.
The danger of a week ago is that copycats will seek to use their own weapons to match the hatred expressed in Pittsburgh.
We've heard from the Pittsburgh mayor that he'll work to take guns away from individuals who write hate on social media.
Good luck. Reports are that the killer brought only two of his many guns to the synagogue. It's difficult to imagine that administrative procedures could be put in place that would--in a reliable fashion--remove all the guns from people who write hate.
And the people of Pittsburgh, and other congregations, seem more concerned to protect themselves with armed guards than to work diligently to change interpretations of the Second Amendment.
A former IDF soldier has been training Pittsburgh Jews in the use of firearms.
Doing away with anti-Semitism seems equally unlikely as doing away with access to firearms..
It's been with us since the ancient Greeks, reinforced by the Gospels of the New Testament, until the Holocaust quieted Christian anti-Semitism, then given another uplift by widespread Muslim antipathy to Israel.
And now it's here, sometimes clothed as opposition to what Israel is said to have done, or not done, and sometimes the work of neo-Nazis. .
Jealousy has something to do with it. We've done better than others in material things. Dealing with money is prominent in the charges against us.
Currently it's Iran that leads the movement against Israel, even while Iran may contain the second largest Jewish population of any Muslim government. The Iranian Parliament has seats set aside for Jews, and reports are that the community lives quietly, perhaps on guard, but seems well.
It's Turkey with the largest Jewish population of a Muslim country, alongside high tension between Turkey and Israel.
Neither Turkey nor Iran have the freedoms of the United States. Those include a freedom of expression and a freedom to acquire firearms, which stand against other liberties that have enabled American Jews to reach what they have achieved.
The Pittsburgh Jewish community is heavily Democratic, and opposed to Trump. Individuals asserted that the President would not be welcome at the funeral, but the head of the congregation accepted him with appropriate words..
Vice President Mike Pence got a nasty reaction by having at a Michigan rally a Messianic Jewish Rabbi, who he described as “a leader in the Jewish community here in Michigan.” Loren Jacobs has degrees from the Moody Bible Institute and Northeastern Bible College, and has claimed that Jews who do not accept Jesus as the Messiah will go to hell.
With that, Jews who support the impeachment of President Donald Trump ought to think again about who would come next.
Is Israel safer than the US?
It's a tough question. Attacks continue against individuals, Iran supports terror and its leaders speak forcefully against Israel. There is considerable investment in intelligence and other forms of security. Yet with good, if quiet relations with a host of Muslim countries, Israel does not face a threat to its existence.
We've had a good weekend with Gaza. Some leaders are speaking of getting through this rough patch, and hoping for some cooperation between Fatah and Hamas.
One can find hateful words coming from Palestinians and other Muslims, but without the heft provided by the US President who doesn't like foreigners. .