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March 21, 2012

A World Driven By Hate

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/a_world_driven_by_hate_20120321/

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I have been shaken to my core with the killings in France this week.  I cannot wrap my head around a man walking up to children and killing them at point blank range.  I am proudly Jewish but these killings have scared me and made me nervous.  I am fearful of the world and that’s not cool.

News out of France today is that the 24 year old killer is turning himself in. The man identified at Mohamed Merah, has allegedly killed 7 people in the name of al-Qaida.  He is a member of an ideological Islamic group in France, but his group is not a part of plotting any attacks or killings.

It is sad because while this man is a Muslim, that is not why he killed people. There is hate in the world to be sure, but this man acted alone and it won’t matter.  It will be another Muslim against Jews debate and all Muslims will be labeled as hateful killers, and that is heartbreaking.

Merah does not act on behalf of the Muslim world, I don’t speak on behalf of all Jews, and Shahs of Sunset is not a documentary on the Persian/American experience.  We have got to start being decent to one another or we seriously have no shot in hell of being a civilized society.

The amount of hate in the world breaks my heart.  I work really hard to raise my son to be a decent and kind human being.  I am a believer that he can change the world one day, but perhaps rather than hope he makes a difference, I should just hope he gets through unscathed.

I raised him to be proud of his faith and now I want him to be careful when talking about it.  I taught him to be kind to strangers in need, and now I want him to avoid strangers.  The world is changing how I raise my son and that is a very sad commentary on the society we live in.

People are mean.  By people of course I include myself.  My blogs are often not nice and I’m sure hurt peoples feelings, but there is a difference between mean and hate.  You don’t kill a child to be mean, you kill a child because you are full of hate.  Hate destroys everything.

I feel sad for this man in France who chose to live his life with hate, and in doing so, took the lives of others.  What a sad and lonely life he has led, and his future will now be spent hating even more.  Sadly I don’t think his hate will ever include himself because hate has no conscience.

When my son and I discussed the killings in France he asked me why so many people hate Jews.  I had no answer.  When he asked me if I was happy I was Jewish, I told him I was happy, blessed and proud to be Jewish and he should be too. I imagine his question came from fear.

I am reflective today about life, love, hate and faith.  My life is blessed and instead of being sad, I am going to pray.  I am praying for a lot of things, namely the world.  The Torah says we cannot explain either the suffering of the righteous or the happiness of the wicked.

I read Torah when I am conflicted in my life and it helps me.  Perhaps the lesson here is that I should read it more often.  At the end of the day I am a Jew and have thousands of years of history to lean on.  I am a Jew.  I am proud.  I am not afraid.  I am keeping the faith.

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