Amalek Returns to Campus

In each and every generation they rise up against us to destroy us. And the Holy One, blessed be He, rescues us from their hands.

I have looked into its eyes. I’ve witnessed its wrath. Last night, Amalek returned to my alma mater.

It began with an event organized by Jewish students featuring talks by Israel Defence Forces (IDF) reservists. Fair enough — most Jews support Israel and by extension, its military protecting Jews at home and abroad.

The Jewish State has mandatory military service from the age of majority. Accordingly, nearly all Israelis are/were IDF members. Toronto’s York University has the largest population of Jewish students in Ontario — many of those students are Israeli. Put simply, Israelis have every right to share their experiences on college campuses.

These facts do not trouble the feverish Zio-phobic set. They hear that the IDF is coming to campus and dispatch their troops. Reflexively, they incite the chorus line and schlep out the pitchforks and the face-masks all in an effort to intimidate supporters of Israel.

As a past Jewish campus leader at York, this scene is all too familiar, but the unbridled, piercing hate of these violent mobs never ceases to amaze me.

Thankfully, in each cohort, we have brave young Jewish student leaders prepared to take this hate head-on — this was clear last night. They shouted Am Yisrael Chai (the Nation of Israel lives!) from the rafters. Giborim.

The Passover Haggadah reminds us that Amalek (enemies of the Jewish people in their respective forms) rises up against Jews in each and every generation. I believe Jews have an instinctive, intergenerational sixth sense for antisemitism evolved from a history of persecution and destruction. We know it when we see it. We saw it last night.

Nevertheless, we are rescued from Amalek’s hands in every instance. Despite this hate, Jewish students go on to become productive leaders, building communities and advancing industries. They also raise families to become generations of proud, unapologetic Zionists who will one day, on their own accord, successfully stare down those rising up to destroy them.

About the Author
Aaron Rosenberg is a Canadian litigation lawyer and partner at RE-LAW LLP, a Toronto-based trial and advocacy law firm.
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