Op-ed Anti-Semitism: Keep Pushing Back Against the Hate

Rabbi Avi Schnall, Agudath Israel of New Jersey Director

As a young boy, I would often listen to my late grandfather tell the story of how he survived the Bergen Belsen concentration camp in northern Germany during World War II, of the time he spent in a Displaced Persons camp after the war, and of how he made his way to these shores to build a new life.

I cherish those memories. When I think times are hard, I think of how Hitler’s SS soldiers took him away and of his ordeals in the concentration camp, his struggles to land a job here in America as a virtually penniless immigrant who spoke only Hungarian. And I find the strength to persevere through my own suddenly miniscule challenges.

This past week I thought of my grandfather again. I wondered what he would have to tell me after hearing that a Jew-hater walked into a southern California synagogue and murdered an innocent woman while she said a special prayer in the merit of her own forebears. How he only stopped shooting when his weapon malfunctioned.

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