Rabbi Ron Symons on December 21, 2015
Will you SCREAM with me about HATE SPEECH and how it can lead to HATE ACTION?
Elie Weisel teaches us: One of the Just Men came to Sodom, determined to save its inhabitants from sin and punishment. Night and day he walked the streets and markets protesting against greed and theft, falsehood and indifference. In the beginning, people listened and smiled ironically. Then they stopped listening; he no longer even amused them. The killers went on killing, the wise kept silent, as if there were no Just Man in their midst. One day a child, moved by compassion for the unfortunate teacher, approached him with these words: “Poor stranger, you shout, you scream, don’t you see that it is hopeless?” “Yes, I see,” answered the Just Man. “Then why do you go on?” “I’ll tell you why. In the beginning, I thought I could change man. Today, I know I cannot. If I still shout today, if I still scream, it is to prevent man from ultimately changing me.”
The hate is all around us. In Israel, President Rivlin is being demonized for his humanitarian stance. In US politics the rhetoric of hate is reminiscent of uglier times on our American and Jewish history. In Pittsburgh, Mexican an Black businesses have been targeted with graffiti. Our Muslim neighbors feel like strangers in their own home town.
In the 18th Century, the Rabbi known as the Vilna Gaon taught:
Wounding with words is worse than hitting a person. Hitting will affect the body, but words go much deeper. Bruises from a hit heal eventually; wounds from words may never be healed.
I am afraid that the words being spoken will all too soon turn to more violence.
Will you SCREAM with me! We are over 100 strong: Residents of Southwestern PA who want to put an end to hate.
Please click the title below, read, sign and share/post:
I am, as always, eager to continue the conversation at [email protected].