December 14, 2009, - 1:16 pm
As much as we hear the undue whining about alleged “Islamophobia,” Jews never flew planes into buildings to murder 3,000 Americans. And yet the protests and religious hatred is, yet again, aimed at them.
Take this latest instance of masked Nazis shouting obscenities at a Chanukah menorah-lighting ceremony. I am heartened by the reports that passersby yelled at the Nazis and waved in support of the menorah-lighters. (But I’m also disappointed because I see this every day, when I get e-mails from conservatives who are supposed to be on my side spewing anti-Semitism and blaming Obama and the economy on the Jews; and when Michelle Malkin links to and promotes openly anti-Semitic articles on the racist and bigoted VDare site (a site which hilariously attacks Chanukah as a “multi-cultural” fake holiday) and helps promote and raise money for those who praise and condone Holocaust-denying Muslim death, rape and torture threats on Jews, both of which she proudly did recently. Jew-hatred is no longer the property of the left.)
Pouring rain failed to dampen the spirits of a small group of families huddled on the Sherman Green gazebo to light a menorah on the third night of Hanukkah Sunday.
Neither did three masked men, who carrying Nazi flags and shouting obscenities, tried to disrupt the ceremony until they fled when police arrived.
“I’m glad I was there,” said Fairfield First Selectman Kenneth Flatto.
So was Rabbi Shlame Landa who staged the ceremony for Chabad of Fairfield.
“It’s important to see we don’t back down from spreading goodness and light,” said Landa.
The men, dressed in black, showed up just as the ceremony was beginning, stayed on the sidewalk about 20 yards from the gazebo. Each carried a flag held in outstretched arms. One flag bore a swastika, another an iron cross.
From his vantage point, Flatto said he could hear obscenities . . . . In the interim, a number of passers-by not involved in the ceremony started yelling at the masked men. Some waved at the menorah lighters. A few joined in the ceremony. When police showed up, the men left in a car headed west on the Post Road with police trailing behind them. It is unclear if the men were stopped by police. . . .
“These people came to try and mar a ceremony,” he said of the masked men. “They did not succeed. Everyone there pretty much ignored that and focused on what is good about the holiday … a celebration of the festival of lights.”
Landa said it wasn’t a stretch to feel a little by like the Maccabees — on whom the story of Hanukkah is based. After battling religious persecution in 60 B.C.E., a small band of Jews lit a nine branched candelabra called a menorah to help resanctify their temple. The menorah is lit each night during the eight-day festival.
“We continue that battle,” said Landa. “The way we chose to battle darkness is to add a little bit more light. By doing a little bit more goodness is how we fight people who hate. That is what we tried to do tonight.”
Landa has been planning the menorah lighting for weeks and secured a permit from the town Park and Recreation Department. He had hoped to have many more than the 20 or so who braved a freezing rain. He said he wasn’t really focused on what was occurring on the sidewalk, but did notice the numbers in the gazebo seemed to swell a bit toward the end of the short ceremony, which included the lighting of a 9-foot portable menorah, followed by songs and refreshments.
“I told my wife, Miriam, on the way home, if (the masked men) came out in the rain, how much more does it say that we have to be there,” he added. “We really had to be there tonight. If not, they would have won half the battle.”
Kudos to Rabbi Landa and the gentile Selectman, Mr. Flatto. Sadly, anti-Semitism is growing and not just outside the U.S. And places where it was recently mostly frowned upon–such as the conservative right– are now rife with anti-Semitism, too. It’s not just Muslims and a fringe of neo-Nazis that embrace this Jew-hatred, today. While most Americans still frown on it, it’s growing all over the place. And while Jewish Americans celebrate this festival of light–of the few Maccabees beating the many forces of Antiochus Epiphanes and other miracles–all Americans must recognize the growing darkness that visits the Jewish people in every generation, and in every tough economic time.
Tags: anti-Semitism, Chabad, Channukah, Chanukah, Chanukkah, Connecticut, Fairfield, Hannukah, Hanukah, Hanukkah, Kenneth Flatto, Lubavitch, menorah, Michelle Malkin, neo-Nazis, Rabbi Shlomo Landa, Sherman Green gazebo