More than enough. Enough shaming through Tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts about ways people voted in the election. Enough. Enough aggression through the misinformed use of anti-Semitic and anti-Zionistic slurs. Enough. Enough hiding behind uneducated social media celebrity influencers who have already moved on to the next trendy topic. Enough.
The prophet Jeremiah reminds us, “Their tongue is a sharpened arrow. They use their mouths to deceive.” How are we uniting the Jewish people when we choose to attack each other? How are we mourning the loss of life in Israel and Gaza when we question the existence of a people? How are we standing with Israel when we shut our eyes to our friends and family posting pictures from bomb shelters? Writing, sharing, or liking a post without thoughtful intention fans the flames of hate and dissension. Enough. Take more than five seconds in choosing how to use your social media. Determine if you are helping or hurting those directly involved in the conflict.
A direct call to our 20s and 30s population: If you are inclined to post something on social media and even slightly question its authority or validity, join us for a face-to-face conversation. ATID, Sinai Temple’s group for 20s and 30s and AJC, the American Jewish Committee is partnering and hosting space for real discussion. Not a lecture. A place where Jewish millennials can speak their mind, hear, offer and learn a nuanced approach. Gain context from other Jewish 20s and 30s that are curious and want to find a safe place to ask questions about the current crisis and beyond. Share this invitation and respond with your interest.
Yesterday, I sat with ten women, all of different political stances and opinions about the conflict. We each offered our voice and were reminded of the power of seeing someone else’s eyes. Hearing their tone. Witnessing their pain.
My heart breaks as I watch Israel’s existence questioned time and time again. But the real work must take place off the screen. The Psalmist teaches, “Be strong and let your heart take courage.” Be brave. Reach out directly to someone with whom you disagree. Be respectful. Privately, offer a different opinion. Publicly shaming someone is what causes chaos among our people.
May our Creator take pride in the words we use. The words you use right now.
Am Yisrael Chai—May the people of Israel live for eternity.
In partnership with The Jewish Journal, you can also find Rabbi Guzik’s blog post HERE.