But even as this catastrophe struck, we learned of the lamentable accidental deaths of babies and toddlers, here as well as in Jerusalem. (And all this is unfolding before we have even begun to recover from the barbaric slaughter of our precious Leiby.)
On the very same week seventy-three years ago, the Nazis set afire Jewish synagogues and homes in Germany and Austria. Jewish businesses were ransacked and destroyed, their windows shattered and the streets paved with thousands of glittering pieces of broken glass.
Some years ago, I spoke in Washington Heights, a community populated by many Jews of German descent. An elderly gentleman shared some of his Kristallnacht experiences. ”My synagogue and my home were torched by the Nazi Youth. I called the fire department, only to be told that it was against the law to put out fires on property that belonged to Jews.”
Today, 73 years later, anti-Semitism once again rears its ugly head. In the Jewish neighborhood of Midwood, Brooklyn, cars are set on fire and swastikas and anti-Jewish obscenities are sprayed on sidewalks and benches. Even a blind man would have to see it, but we continue with business as usual.
Coincidence? Accident? What possible connection can there between the barbaric events of yesterday and those that are befalling us today?
Can it be there is a message behind it all – a message we should ponder?
(To Be Continued)