As some of you may know, two weekends ago over the July 4th weekend, more than a dozen gravestones were spray-painted with swastikas at German Hill Road Jewish Cemeteries here in Baltimore. This recent anti-Semitic vandalism is the latest act of hatred and violence towards Jewish people that has occurred this summer in our city and around our nation.
As my friend and colleague at the Institute for Islamic, Christian and Jewish Studies informed me and others, anti-Jewish hate crimes continue to be the highest category of hate crimes in our country yet vocal support and sympathy for the Jewish community is often minimal.
Lest there be any doubt, let us be clear: We, as people of faith and followers of Jesus here in the 21st century — and as leaders in our workplaces, schools, businesses and neighborhoods — stand in solidarity with our Jewish brothers and sisters; and with one, united voice, we condemn any and all such acts as abhorrent to our civil society. An attack on any one of our faith communities is an attack on all of our faith communities.
Ancient Jewish teachings counsel:
“Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief.
Do justly, now.
Love mercy, now.
Walk humbly, now.
You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”
I invite you to reflect, wherever you are today: How are you taking a stand against hatred, today? How are you embodying the love of God as made visible in the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, today? How are you helping to build the Beloved Community that is God’s dream for each and all of us, today?
Let us individually and collectively resolve to continue our work of building relationships across difference, and striving together to build the Beloved Community, where the dignity of each and every human human being is upheld, respected and honored.