Last week’s night of terror in Paris has filled our world with fear and trepidation. As Jews, the responses coming from many of our national leaders and the hateful words about Muslims that are spreading across social media should give us pause. It is imperative that we consider the current global crisis in light of our recent past.
Last week marked the 77th Anniversary of Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass) – a moment in the history of our people
that marked the beginning of the Holocaust. On November 9, 1938, the Nazis unleashed a wave of pogroms against Germany’sJews. In the span of a few hours, thousands of synagogues, Jewish businesses and homes were damaged and destroyed. This night of horror communicated a very specific message to the Jews of Germany and to the world at large. Jews were no longer welcome.
As the fate of Germany’s Jews became widely publicized much of the world was rattled with horror, shock, and sympathy, but few opened their doors. We know the fate of millions who were turned away.
History is repeating itself, and this is something we need to constantly keep in mind as ISIS (the modern day equivalent to the Nazis) continues to generate fear and terror. As Jews, we have a responsibility to keep our hearts and minds open to the victims of hate and oppression.