50 Synagogues Receive Bomb Threats in One Week. When Is It Enough?

I spend a part of my mornings and a good chunk of my Saturdays running errands. It’s something I look forward to. I enjoy the mundanity of checking the mail or picking up a box of nails or sprinkler parts. On my way home this morning, I passed the local splash park, which was filled with moms and kids and doubtless already littered with a healthy number of juice boxes, popsicles, and containers of sunblock. That is the kind of sight that eases a man’s heart and gives him some semblance of hope that the nation is not quite done for.

Reality is always lurking around the corner or in the back of the mind, no matter how much joy one finds in the simple things in life. And no, I am not talking about the aftermath of the debate, which seems to have found a permanent home in the news cycle. 

There is much to celebrate on America’s Birthday this year, and you really should give yourself permission to enjoy the day, if for no other reason than to maintain your mental health. And while evil has always found a way to creep into the nation, it has never before been this widespread. It has never been so bald-faced, bold, and pronounced, at least not within the last two decades. 

Just the News reports that last week, over 50 synagogues in Florida received bomb threats. Bryan Leib, the Republican candidate for Florida’s 25th Congressional District, told the outlet, “I think it’s gonna get traumatically worse. I think a lot of these pro-Hamas supporters wanted to see how far they can get on the college campuses and see how far they can push. It’s open season for Jews. That’s how we feel, at least.” 

Rabbi Yisroel Spalter at the Chabad of Weston Center for Jewish Life in Weston, Fla., commented, “I think that we find ourselves in difficult times with so much unexpected antisemitism that has reared its ugly head …especially since Oct. 7.”

There was a time when such behavior was relegated to a group of skinheads clustered in a basement draped in swastikas. But we have heard antisemitism from elected officials, and we have seen it on the biggest exporters of Jew-hatred, college campuses. However, people such as Alvin Bragg, who are supposed to be promoting the general welfare, have turned blind eyes and deaf ears to the odious behavior of these entitled, uninformed, and radicalized “students” and their accompanying paid protesters. 

History is threatening to repeat itself on these shores. I would go so far as to assert that history is already repeating itself here and across Europe. Some of it has been overt, such as on college campuses, and some almost flies under the radar.

The nation grappled with the sin of slavery during the Civil War. It would turn around a relatively short time later (in terms of the rather long arc of history) and take on civil rights and demolish the evils of Jim Crow. Conversely, the reason so many Japanese Americans were herded into internment camps during World War II is that no one wanted to stand up and say, “No, you cannot incarcerate innocent Americans based on their DNA, country of origin, or ancestry.” 

The bravery displayed during the Civil War and the struggle for civil rights was absent when the U.S. government began rounding people up. Yes, there was a war on, and a global one, at that. But a “greater good” should never serve as an excuse for evil.

If, indeed, there are truths that we hold to be self-evident, and you know which ones I mean, now is not the time to remain silent.

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