After Pittsburgh, We Must Remember

In the aftermath of the worst terrorist attack against Jewish community in US history, and days before a midterm election that stands to either endorse or turn back the tide on the erosion of human rights, the American faith community is called yet again to stand in solidarity against encroaching antisemitism and racism, two of the many faces of White Supremacy in the United States.

We must remember:

1) We do not stand alone. The incredible solidarity surrounding the American Jewish community defies what past generations could have imagined. This attack does not represent a nation that will stand by as Jews are hurt. This is also what it means to be a person of faith: to stand with fellow Americans of other faiths when they are targeted. We should never love others less than we are loved as we weep from our deep losses.

2) We do not stand alone. This attack is one of 12 Gun Violence attacks on an American house of worship in the past 3 years. The Gun Violence epidemic claims 33,000 lives every year. Yes, this attack hit the innermost heart of the Jewish community, and in the most horrifying and ironic way, this attack also proves that we are all truly American. The epidemic of weaponized American hatred includes us along with Sikhs, Muslims, African Americans, Immigrants, LGBTQ Americans, and every other minority. Which means…

3) We dare not stand alone. This moment of American history and this ravaging Sabbath massacre tells us that all is not well in our Republic. Hate is emboldened, and White Supremacists are somehow mainstream. This was antisemitism, yes. But it is also a diseased American moment, where healing will only begin if we deny terrorism its goal: to isolate us within our particular trauma.

We are not alone, we should not make ourselves alone. Even in this incalculable pain.

About the Author
Rabbi Menachem Creditor is Scholar in Residence at UJA-Federation New York, where his role is amplifying Jewish learning, leadership and values within the UJA-Federation community of supporters, staff, and partners. In 2013, he was named by Newsweek as one of the fifty most influential rabbis in America. Rabbi Creditor has been involved in the leadership of Rabbis Against Gun Violence, American Jewish World Service, AIPAC and the One American Movement, an organization dedicated to bringing together Americans of different faiths and opinions. Among his 16 books and six albums of original Jewish music are “And Yet We Love: Poems,” “Primal Prayers,” and “Olam Chesed Yibaneh/A World of Love.”