THE JEWISH RESPONSE TO ANTISEMITISM

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Antisemitism has, once again, reared its ugly head.

Just in the past month, hundreds of tombstones in three Jewish cemeteries have been vandalized, and tens of JCC's across the country have received bomb threats. Many feel as if their sense of safety and security has been shattered. Indeed, when evil intrudes, our lives and all of our good values, just seem so vulnerable. But how should we respond? What can we do in the face of such ruthless brutality?

Thursday, November 26, 2015. I will never forget that day.

In defiance of those who seek to kill the Jewish spirit, the bride, Sara Techiya Litman - whose father and brother were murdered by terrorists just days before -- had asked the entire Jewish nation to celebrate along with her and her groom. People flew in from the United States, Europe and all over the world to dance with the bride and groom. I had flown in from Scottsdale to do my part in this special celebration.

As I danced with thousands of my brothers and sisters, I witnessed, with swelling tears, the ultimate Jewish response to evil. For this unforgettable wedding spoke to the unwavering resolve at the heart of our Jewish nation.

Indeed, we are a nation that believes, without a hiccup of hesitation, that life is more powerful than death, that love is mightier than hate, that hope is greater than despair, and that light is stronger than darkness. We are a nation that has forever been loyal to its purpose of "being a kingdom of priests" and "a light unto the nations."

The US Government and other official agencies will surely do what they can to combat this horrific wave of antisemitism. But as Sara Techiya Litman, her groom and her thousands of guests demonstrated, our response must be more personal; it must speak to the values that fill our souls. Where there are acts of anti-semitism and Jewish hatred, we must respond with acts of pro-semitism and Jewish love; We must respond to acts that aim to bring havoc and destruction, with acts and Mitzvot that bring joy and unity to each and all.

This is a quiet heroism - there are no flamboyant shows and loud protests, no Facebook rants and dramatic gestures that capture attention. For it is not enough to focus on that which we are fighting against; we must also know that which we are fighting for. I am not so naïve as to believe that good deeds alone will eradicate evil from the world. But we can, and ought to, shape the world - the world in which we live - by our actions.

In 1948, just three years following the Holocaust, Chaim Weizmann, the first president of the State of Israel broadcasted a famous call to Jews worldwide: "After Hitler murdered a third of the Jewish nation, it is the foremost duty of every Jew to be a 'third more' Jewish. Please, I beg every Jew in the world, be a 'third more' Jewish. Triple your prayers, triple your good deeds, and make up for the third of our nation that was so brutally decimated."

Similarly, after witnessing such antisemitism among us, we must do everything in our power to increase our deeds of holiness and goodness, from prayer to charity, from lighting Shabbat candles every Friday, to doing a stranger a favor, from Torah study to lending a helping hand.

Let us do so, each in our own bright way, today.