On Wednesday at Sundown we will be entering into the holy time of Purim and reading the Megillah of Esther. This year, for Jews in the United States, the story will hot home more than in previous years.
This year in the United States there is a certain political party that holds the legislative branch of government that has booed Israel in their 2012 convention. A political party, who's main representative in 2010 said that Israel needed to give land to Palestine. Apolitical party who's leader that same year put his feet on the desk with the bottom of his shoes pointed towards the Israeli Prime Minister which is a Middle Eastern insult.
Now in 2019, the same political party has a figure known as Ilhan Abdullahi Omar who has filled the chamber of the US House of Representatives with anti-semitic rhetoric, and has written several anti-semitic tweets, and her rhetoric has been supported by her political party. And yet, when a Fox News correspondent spoke out against Representative Omar's rhetoric she lost her job.
To make things worse, I recently was a part of webinar put on by the ADL and the statistics they showed shocked me. In 2018 276 anti-semitic complaints had been filed against CNN not by viewers but by workers, a staggering 38% jump. MSNBC and NBC had 319 complains filed, a 26% jump from 2017. ABC and Disney had 198 complaints, a 19% jump from 2017.
Today if you go to YouTube or Google and type in "Talmud", Google and YouTube promote anti-semitic videos to the top that are filled with lies about the Talmud as well as other jewish texts from anti-semitic bloggers and youtube creators.
Right now, the plethora of individuals who have thrown their hats in the ring to run for president all have a history of speaking out against Israel and against the Jewish people, and are silent on ISIS and radical Islamic extremism. I even once worked for one particular candidate that was the CEO of the US's largest coffee establishment.
When I went to work for this establishment in my area I had a payot and a beard. When I reported for my first day at work, I was asked, "are you Muslim?" I said, "no Jewish" and they said, "unless you are Muslim you need to shave your beard and get rid of those stupid curls. I thought it was a joke, then I was handed the company handbook with the company rules and it said that unless a man is a muslim he is not allowed to have a beard at this establishment.
Us Jews know that anti-semitism is a real thing, but unlike the LBGTQWTXYZ community and others we do not make make the loud cry these other groups do. We are a people whom many have called for our extinction and they have lost and we have thrived. But how long are we going to allow it to continue to keep getting worse? How long are we going to allow people to treat us like second class citizens? How long are we going to be the whipping boy? Well, the story of Esther vs Haman we read in the Megillah shows us that we are a more resilient people than those give us credit for. During Purim we remember having to practice our faith secretly or be killed. This is why we wear costumes on this holiday to remember that. As history repeats itself we know redemption is on the way, we know our extermination is not gonna happen. But it is gonna take a Mordechai, or an Esther, or a Judas Maccabee to stand up against the modern day Amalek and say "enough is enough.
Theological Insights from Rabbi Eved Banah the North American Rebbe of Ani Judaism