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Friday, November 3, 2023

That's a Start

Tomorrow night we change the clocks. This morning I saw an online post that read “Don’t forget to set your clocks back to 1938 Germany.” There’s nothing funny about that. For those of us who have wondered all our lives what pre-Holocaust Europe must have felt like, I think we’re starting to get a pretty good idea right here in Toronto. The anti-Semitism is downright terrifying. (I hesitate to even put that in print as I just read a post by a U of Ottawa med school student who wrote that hearing that the Jews are terrified made his day.)

We have all been tense and anxious. But it’s about to be Shabbat and I refuse to go to that dark place where I keep finding myself every day. I am resolved to find hope in little things, little signs that this is different. This is not 1938. The Jewish people have a country, the Jewish people have an army, the Jewish people actually do have supporters who hear us.

Take note of things like this, and be encouraged: 

Amazon was selling a T-shirt that said “From the River to the Sea” but a petition got them to remove it from their site. Still working on other Amazon inventory, but that’s a start.

Diamond & Diamond launched a $15 million class-action lawsuit against York University, drawing attention to the well-documented history of anti-Semitic sentiments on the York University campuses. Lots more university campuses to go, but that’s a start.

The Mayor of Hampstead, Montreal posted: Hampstead will adopt a by-law that will impose a $1,000 fine to any person that removes the Israeli hostage posters from public property. It’s only a neighbourhood in Quebec, but that’s a start.

Don’t like the TV news? YouTube has countless videos to cheer us up, to empower us, to inform us. Yes, YouTube has plenty of pro-Hamas videos, too, but you don’t have to watch them. Look for Megan Kelly and Piers Morgan. That’s a start.

So as I enter the next 25 hours, I am committed to thinking positive thoughts and to acknowledging the differences between Toronto 2023 and Germany 1938. After Shabbat, I’ll no doubt get that awful feeling in my gut to carry all week, but for now, it’s going to be Shabbat.  And that’s a start.

Shabbat Shalom!  Let our prayers for peace be heard and answered!