Shine Your Light Bold and Bright!
Jewish communities around the world are facing terrible antisemitic hate. It is has gotten so popular that public figures are being more open than we have seen in decades about their hateful views and opinions of our Jewish heritage.
Recently, we were all taken by surprise when rapper Kanye West, now also known as Ye, posted antisemitic tropes on his social media accounts, shared antisemitic conspiracy theories with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, and later, on social media, threatened violence against Jews. Then, on his latest appearance on the InfoWars talk show, hosted by provocateur Alex Jones, West, alongside white supremacist Nick Fuentes, said people should “stop dissing the Nazis” and exalted Adolf Hitler.
Yet, we were dismayed on Feb. 16, 2022, when at a middle school in Marietta, several middle school students wore swastikas on their sleeves and displayed Nazi salutes at school.
It’s public figures that are in the mainstream media and like Kayne West, “Ye”, Roger Waters and you don’t even want to know about the popular video games that depict Nazis and antisemitic tropes.
Just last month in Cobb County, individuals associated with the Goyim Defense League distributed antisemitic propaganda in residential areas, and during November 2022, in Brookhaven, two businesses were vandalized with antisemitic graffiti. The graffiti consisted of the statements “Jews Kill Blacks,” “Jews enslave Black lives,” and other antisemitic slurs were found.
Our kids and others in our community get confused by the popularity of hatred against our community. We are the chosen people of Biblical text, which, over the centuries, has caused jealousy and hatred since the being of our people. Yet, we are known for our abilities in the fields of medicine, finance, law, arts and culture. I believe that our success is more about our culture and traditions than it is our DNA.
We need to show the nation the story of the Maccabees that has been passed down through the ages. We are not a people to fear, but a people full of leaders, teachers, healers, and problem solvers. The strength in our weekly Shabbat time with our families, and the meaningful prayers proclaimed as we light the candles, is our bond. The miracle of Chanukah is an opportunity for our Jewish community to shine our light bold and bright for all to see the miracle of our people as we continue to get through every challenge with love and patience. For our love will forever turn the darkness into light.
Kaylene Ladinsky is the editor and managing publisher at Atlanta Jewish Times.