On Sunday morning, October 15, the Rabbis and the congregants of Bet Torah arrived at their synagogue to find swastikas spray painted on their building. The police were called and reports were filed. And the congregation of Bet Torah was left to grapple with the pain and the heartbreak pulled to the surface by such acts, and with the harsh reality of the hatred and the anti-Semitism which continues to be a part of the fabric of our communities and of our country. This is not the first time something like this has happened in our local and surrounding communities. Shaking our heads in disbelief or writing it off as graffiti or pranks was never, and is not now, an option. Silence in the face of such hatred and racism is complicity. While we know this type of behavior does not represent the overwhelming majority of people in our community who daily live out the values of kindness and care, we also believe each of us has a duty and a responsibility and a moral obligation to stand up and to speak out and to say such acts are wrong. Parents need to say it to their children. Friends need to say it to their friends. We need to say it to each other. We can be better than this.
All of this is true.
And, what I said we need to do I deeply believe.
But it is not just about spray painted swastikas.
It is also about misogyny and harassment and racism.
And, it is about those silenced or marginalized in any of a hundred ways.
Silence in the face of any of this is complicity.