Reform Judaism

In many ways, this weekend’s synagogue attack reflected my view on being Jewish in modern America, where 1 in 4 American Jews say they experienced antisemitism in the last year. Four people were taken hostage during a long standoff that ended with freed hostages and a dead suspect. Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker is well known in his Texas community for reaching out and breaking bread with people from other religions and backgrounds. He and his congregants are 100% right to do that. It’s core to the faith. But, to put it bluntly, if someone comes in and threatens your life in your house of worship, they need to be attacked, and if necessary, made dead. Here’s the Rabbi explaining how he threw a chair at the suspect, after which he and two other remaining hostages escaped. It’s required viewing for American Jews. A couple years ago, I was in a discussion session with college students and parents talking about how bad antisemitism is on campus. After about an hour, someone said that with all the local and global antisemtism, it’s hard not to be scared. And I said, be pissed, be aware, be resilient, be tough. But don’t be afraid. We tried that already.

+ And no, I’m not trying to sound like I’m a tough guy. I’m just the son of one.

+ MI5 investigated Texas synagogue hostage-taker in 2020. They “concluded Malik Faisal Akram posed no threat, which allowed him to travel to US and buy gun.”

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