|Judith Whitehead lives in Amherst New York and has worked in|
the ophthalmology field of medicine for over 30 years.
Sadly, antisemitism is still alive
Being born in the 1950’s just 10 yrs after the end of WWII our world still remembered what happened in Europe and specifically Germany all too well. The wave of antisemitism was still fresh in
every ones’ mind and most Jews in this country were mindful of not making their heritage stand out.
I remember when starting public school I did not speak of my ethnic background, wear any jewelry announcing what my faith was and tried to blend in. Even though the war was fought in Europe, there was plenty of antisemitism in the United States and across the world. I remember well our anti-Semitic neighbors when I was a small child and how scared I felt.
It has been over 60 years since the War in Europe ended where my dad fought with many of my friends parents and we all learned that History could repeat itself if we did not keep the past in the present.
I married within my faith, raised my children as such and made sure they knew about the past and what happened to our people, and how they almost became extinct. They were raised to become proud of their faith and did not grow up feeling the same fear I did as a child. I am horrified about what I am now hearing in Ukraine and how once again the Jews are being singled out and counted just as they were in Nazi Germany so many years ago. How can history be repeating itself again? Why is it that in hard times we single out a race to be the scape goat ?
Antisemitism has never left our world; it only waits for an opportunity to rear its ugly head when an opportunity presents itself. There will always be followers and there will always be leaders; have we become any smarter, any more educated as to what the right thing to do is?
When I hear things like “you must sign up to identify yourselves”, as they are trying to do in Ukraine, I get a sick feeling once again as I did so many years ago. The survivors from the holocaust in Germany and Europe are disappearing and ageing out and although they have tried to document their stories to be preserved for all time, there are still many disbelievers of the event despite the evidence that remains in Europe. I can only hope and pray that people have become more intelligent and humanistic over the years and come to realize that we are all God’s children ; we are a melting pot of humans that can coexist with some effort. We all have gifts to offer, we all have a right to live on this earth – The
Jews have a saying, “he who saves a life, saves the world”. We live by that mantra – it is the very thought that kept people alive in the concentration camps; the will to live and survive.
Despite all the hatred that still exists among us today, I still try and believe there is some good in everyone. No one person is born with hate; hatred is taught and nurtured by those that only have hate
in their hearts. We as a human race have come a long way from the antiquated thinking of decades behind us; we are now more accepting of same sex marriages and freedom of expression that could not have taken place in the 1950’s.
We still have a long way to go in accepting peoples beliefs; I am hoping that in my lifetime we can show no tolerance for persecution of peoples beliefs and become more accepting of peoples differences.
How boring life would be if we all believed in the same thing and could not exchange different ideas. I pray for peace and acceptance in our next decade of life on earth.
Sign the petition,
Ensure Ukraine Jewish registry is not enforced!
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