I know we will overcome this.
A message of resilience and Jewish pride.
I wear a Magen David (Star of David) necklace hanging around my neck. I’ve worn this necklace mostly every day since 2018 when I bought it in Jerusalem during the year that I was living and working for a Jewish humanitarian organization in Israel. I’ve only taken it off a few times—one of those times being in 2021 when I was traveling during the most recent war, prior to the one occurring in this very present moment.
I was raised as a reform Jew. I don’t keep kosher and I don’t keep Shabbat. But I wear this necklace as a daily reminder of my commitment to the values and teachings of Judaism, as a commitment to my Jewish community, and as a commitment to myself.
I am scared to be Jewish right now. I’m scared to be living in public wearing a symbol of Judaism, my Magen David necklace. I’m scared that people around the world have called to “Gas the Jews.” People have said, “Israel is worse than Nazi Germany.” People have denied the atrocities of October 7th and are even tearing down posters of those still being held hostage, almost three weeks later. Some people have called for Intifada, an armed uprising to target the killing of Jews.
I am so sad. I am so sad that the world is silent. I am so sad that Holocaust survivors are having to relive this horror again, just 78 years later. I am so sad that we have to defend our right to defend ourselves.
October 7th was the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust. The percentage of antisemitic incidents in the United States has increased a striking 400% since the horrific and barbaric attacks committed by Hamas on October 7th.
On college campuses around the United States, Jewish students have been both physically and verbally attacked and harassed. Protests around the world have called for the total destruction of Israel. A professor at UC Davis threatened Jewish journalists and their children in a tweet she posted. Students have been told they should have burned in an oven.
After hearing and seeing these horrible antisemitic incidents over the last few weeks, I have thought about taking my necklace off. I’d likely be safer if I did so. But I’m wearing it so tightly around my neck. I pick up my Magen David pendant between my fingers as a daily reminder of the resilience and strength of the Jewish people.
I remind myself how grateful I am to be Jewish, how grateful I am to be a part of a people who value love more than hate, and to be part of a rich tradition that promotes deep introspection and reflection and has incorporated values of Gemilut Hasadim (bestowing kindness) and Tikkun Olam (repairing the world).
As Shabbat draws closer this week, I am choosing to take pride in my identity. I will light the Shabbos candles. I will continue to do Mitzvot (good deeds). I choose to continue leading my life driven by love, compassion, and kindness. I will do what I can to bring light into this very, very dark world.
I know we will overcome this. Because we have persisted every single other time the world has tried to destroy us.
Links of Love
Miranda here. These links have all been vetted or have been started by friends of friends. Do something kind this Shabbos!
Blossoms of Hope: Fill out this form to send flowers to suffering Israeli families.
Just One Thing: Get matched with an IDF soldier and take on a mitzvah in their honor! I am committed to keeping kosher in honor of a soldier named Achiya.
Free Shabbos candlesticks: For Jewish women new to the candle lighting game!
Free tefillin for men: Always wanted your own tefillin? Fill out this form and get more spiritual with who else… Chabad!
Friends of Givat Haviva: Donate to a peace center for Israeli Jews and Arabs in a northern Israeli community in honor of Israeli-Arab fallen soldier Awad Darawshe who was killed by Hamas while treating wounded victims at the Oct 7th massacre.
Connect with me on Instagram @theshabbatdrop.