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Why did Robert Bowers go into Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh exactly one year ago, and start shooting, and not stop shooting until he had killed eleven hapless people – whose sole “crime” was to show up for services, and worship, and pray?
It is really quite simple.
Robert - Bowers - Jews
Robert Bowers not only hates Jews.
Robert Bowers hates Judaism.
Part - Judaism
In particular, this part of Judaism.
One of the congregations that uses space in Tree of Life Synagogue is Congregation Dor Hadash, a Reconstructionst synagogue, a vocal and visible supporter of HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. Since its inception in 1881, the mission of HIAS has been to help refugees and immigrants. HIAS helped some of your grandparents and great-grandparents when they resettled in the United States. It proudly proclaims: “Once, we helped refugees because they were Jewish. Today, we help refugees because we are Jewish.”
Bowers - Post - Media - Open - Eyes
Bowers could not abide that. In a post on social media, he wrote: “Open you [sic] [sick] Eyes! It’s the filthy EVIL jews Bringing the Filthy EVIL Muslims into the Country!! “HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. **** your optics, I’m going in.”
In the fevered imagination of Robert Bowers, the very idea that non-white, non-Christian immigrants would come to this country is tantamount to racial genocide.
Bowers - Jews - Bowers - Judaism - Words
So, yes: Bowers hates Jews and Bowers hates Judaism. What he would have found singularly distasteful are the words imbedded in this week’s Torah portion: that all human beings are created in the image of God.
And yet, the question still plagues us: why us? Why do so many people hate the Jews?
Years - Jewish - Critic - Bernard - Lazare
Exactly 125 years ago, the French Jewish literary critic, Bernard Lazare, wrote the first serious history of antisemitism. The word itself had existed for barely twenty years.
He was the...
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