The Anti-Semitism Handbook for Diaspora Jews

The continuous rise of anti-Semitic incidents has taken world Jewry by surprise. The nations of the world were supposed to know better and Germany said they’re sorry. Yet try as they do to be loved, Jews continue to be hated more than any other population, regardless of what “type” of Jew they are. Wealthy Jews are hated for having too much money, poor Jews are hated for being dirty Jews. Powerful Jews are hated for controlling the world, weak Jews are hated for being pathetic. Religious Jews are hated for being different, assimilated Jews are hated for being impostors.

Surely this is just a passing phase as it’s always been, and Jews shouldn’t do anything radical, like returning to their motherland en masse. To help Diaspora Jews respond properly to anti-Semitic incidents of various types, the Jewish Union for Diaspora Eternal (JUDE) has prepared a handbook. This handbook is the product of extensive research, countless meetings, and millions of dollars in operating expenses. (Please donate generously so our vital work can continue.)

Each section of the handbook lists various levels of anti-Semitic behavior, followed by the appropriate responses. Thanks to our helpful guide, Diaspora Jewry need no longer be confused when faced with the challenges of anti-Semitism, nor overreact and risk making the situation worse. We’ve had a great run for thousands of years in the Diaspora, and with God’s help this will continue. We at JUDE are confident that the best is yet to come.

Stage 1 Anti-Semitism:

  • Dirty looks, insults, slurs, assorted other verbal abuse
  • Spitting, throwing pennies, assorted other non-physical signs of contempt
  • Accusing Israel of racism, war crimes, etc.

Appropriate Responses:

  • So what?
  • We’re in galus, it’s normal
  • It’s good to be reminded that we’re Jews
  • We have to fight hate with love
  • They don’t really mean it
  • It’s just kids being kids
  • It’s fair to criticize Israel
  • We have to work harder to educate people and reach out to our neighbors

Stage 2 Anti-Semitism:

  • Vandalism of Jewish homes, synagogues, and institutions
  • Swastikas
  • Desecration of cemeteries
  • Jews being knocked down, harassed, lightly assaulted in the street

Appropriate Responses:

  • The police will investigate
  • Increase patrols and install security cameras
  • Probably a prank by kids
  • The person was probably drunk or mentally ill
  • Create programs in schools about tolerance
  • This is an opportunity for the community to come together and show support

Stage 3 Anti-semitism:

  • Holocaust denial
  • Holocaust celebration, we will finish what Hitler started
  • Bias in the media
  • Anti-Semitic cartoons
  • Anti-Semitic statements from public officials
  • Legal discrimination to keep Jews out (zoning laws, etc.)
  • Attempts to ban shechita, circumcision, impose anti-Torah curriculum on yeshivas

Appropriate Responses:

  • Prove that the Holocaust really did happen
  • They don’t really mean what they are saying
  • Arrange educational events and visits to Holocaust museums
  • Write letters, use social media to inform and educate
  • Invite the offenders to meet with us and build bridges
  • It’s not like Germany in 1932, it’s completely different
  • Use our political influence, work with leaders
  • They don’t hate us, they just don’t understand

Stage 4 Anti-Semitism:

  • Attacks on synagogues and Jewish institutions
  • Serious beatings
  • Children being bullied in school, with no serious consequences
  • Fear of being recognizably Jewish
  • Occasional shootings and murders
  • Expectations of attacks on Jewish holidays, fear of assembling

Appropriate Responses:

  • It’s a lone wolf
  • Try to understand the attackers and their motives
  • Increase security
  • Train citizens in self-defense
  • Train citizens on how to survive shootings
  • Urge politicians to speak out
  • Express shock, every single time, and insist we won’t let it happen again
  • It only happens in some areas, isolated incidents, blown out of proportion

Stage 5 Anti-Semitism:

  • Pogroms
  • Legislation targeting the entire Jewish community
  • Confiscation of Jewish property
  • Show trials
  • Mass incarcerations
  • Destruction of synagogues and Jewish institutions

Appropriate Responses:

  • It will blow over
  • We will use our political influence and connections
  • Some Jews have left but we don’t recommend it, stay and strengthen the community
  • Don’t be a fool and abandon your property and your business
  • Don’t fight, keep a low profile

Stage 6 Anti-Semitism:

  • Legislation stripping Jews of basic human rights
  • Destruction of entire communities
  • Mass murders and other atrocities

Appropriate Responses:

  • Hide if you can
  • Flee if you can, use whatever you have left to bribe your way out
  • Return the moment it all stops and rebuild. This is our home.
About the Author
Rabbi Chananya Weissman is the founder of EndTheMadness and the author of seven books, including “Go Up Like a Wall” and “How to Not Get Married: Break these rules and you have a chance”. Many of his writings are available at www.chananyaweissman.com. He is also the director and producer of a documentary on the shidduch world, Single Jewish Male, and The Shidduch Chronicles, available on YouTube. He can be contacted at admin@endthemadness.org.
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