“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
Late last evening, while watching Clemson finishing out on top over Ohio State
in a battle in the Fiesta Bowl, a breaking news alert popped up on my phone…
The initial report was that there had been a stabbing outside of a synagogue
in New York.
“Oh Lord,” I thought out loud, “not again!”
As the facts started to come in more clearly, the attack had actually happened
inside the home of a Rabbi who lived next door to a Synagogue in Monsey, New York.
Reports were that a man had entered the home, where Hasidic members of a synagogue
had gathered prior to going to celebrate the 7th night of Hanukkah,
and began hacking people with a machete.
The news headline read:
New York Jews continue Hanukkah celebrations after stabbing at
rabbi’s home that left 5 wounded
The story explained that
Five people were stabbed at a rabbi’s home in New York during a Hanukkah celebration
on Saturday night —
but that didn’t stop worshippers from continuing their prayers at a synagogue next door.
Soon after the attack in the suburb of Monsey, located just 35 miles north of New York City
in Rockland County, Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg and his followers gathered at the adjacent synagogue,
which the rabbi leads, and sang together in prayer.
The Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council for the Hudson Valley tweeted a video of Rottenberg
and his followers continuing their celebration of the seventh night of Hannukah.
“The grace of God did not end and his mercy did not leave us,”
they sang, according to a translation of their song posted online.
Here’s a link to the initial story
The following day, I ran across a post shared by a fellow blogger…
The post seemed more than ironically timely as it addressed an alarming concern…
The concern being that there is a troubling rise in growing antisemitism while being
mirrored by a simultaneous decline in Holocaust memory.
Meaning—attacks on Jews is on the rise while the history of the Holocaust
Fading as many young people have little to no grasp of the darker side of
Just considering the almost rabid fascination by youthful generations with socialism
then this should not be terribly surprising—but terrible it is.
Here is the post along with a link to the full article.
A Growing Monster
December 29, 2019
by Anna Waldherr
A Europe-wide CNN poll in November 2018 found a rise in anti-Semitism and a
decline in Holocaust memory .
Anti-Semitic incidents in Germany rose by almost 10% in 2018, to a 10 year high .
In December 2018, a Greek Holocaust Memorial was desecrated for the fourth time .
In January 2019 a synagogue was vandalized in the Bulgarian capitol Sofia .
In June 2019 planned construction on the site of mass graves dating to the
Holocaust came to light in the Ukraine .
By July 2019 anti-Semitism in the United Kingdom had spiked .
A video showing West Ham soccer fans singing an anti-Semitic fight song about
rival club Tottenham Hotspur (which has a largely Jewish fan base) was posted to Twitter.
There is a monster growing in Europe. Anti-Semitism has increased substantially since
the 2015 immigration crisis .
France reported a 74% increase in violence against Jews.
“An alarming pattern of anti-Semitism is spreading across Europe,
from France to Germany to Sweden and elsewhere on the continent…
Antisemitism is not, and cannot, remain just a Jewish problem.
This is an issue that affects all Europeans, and Western society as a whole.”
–Ronald Lauder, Pres. of World Jewish Congress
 CNN, “A Shadow over Europe” by Richard Allen Greene, 11/27/18, https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2018/11/europe/antisemitism-poll-2018-intl/.
 France 24, “Anti-Semitic attacks rose sharply in Germany in 2018, report says”, 2/13,19, https://www.france24.com/en/20190213-anti-semitism-hate-crime-jews-germany-afd.
 New York Times, “The New German Anti-Semitism” James Angelos,
 Times of Israel, “Greek Holocaust memorial vandalized for 4th time this year”, 12/17/18, https://www.timesofisrael.com/greek-holocaust-memorial-vandalized-for-4th-time-this-year/.
 The Jerusalem Post, “Synagogue in Bulgarian Capitol of Sofia Vandalized by
Stone-Throwing Incident” by Zachary Keyser, 1/22/19,
 Israel National News (Arutz Sheva 7),
“Ukraine plans construction atop Holocaust-era mass graves” by Cnaan Lipshiz, 6/18/19, http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/264735.
 CNN, “New report shows spike in British anti-Semitism” by Ivana Kottasova, 8/1/19, https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/31/europe/antisemitism-incidents-rising-gbr-intl/index.html.
 The Guardian, “Anti-Semitism rising sharply across Europe,
figures show” by Jon Henley, 2/15/19,
Then if things weren’t troubling enough, a story broke Sunday morning about a
gunman walking into a church outside of Fort Worth, Texas and killing parishioners.
The gunman entered the church during communion and opened fire with a shotgun,
killing two and critically wounding another before being fatally shot by
Texas church shooting leaves 2 dead, witness says gunman opened fire during communion
When Evil attacks our Spiritual foundation, we have always struggled to understand.
Yet here’s the thing, Evil is not something to be analyzed or neatly understood.
It does not play by the rules.
The fallen light-bearer is now the father of darkness.
Rules do not apply to Satan or to the Evils he relishes upon this realm we call home.
And yet the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, went on a news talk show Sunday
morning and tried to blame life in Washington and the hate that is seemingly
generated there, on the latest spate of attacks on Jews in his city and state.
Because we all know that when we have no answers, we blame Trump.
But Trump is not Satan…contrary to popular belief.
Persecution against both Christians and Jews has been with us throughout the ages,
yet there is an alarming uptick taking place across the globe.
Physical persecution to emotional and psychological persecution.
Might time be of the essence for both Light and Dark?
Faith, belief, God, Jesus, love, kindness, forgiveness, the family, honor,
righteousness…these are all components of our true essence…the piece
of the Divine which continues to reside in our souls.
And each and every one of those components is an enemy of the Darkness.
I read today that many Jews are now afraid to wear anything that
symbolizes their faith in fear of being attacked.
This while many Christians are being told that, at places such as work and
school, they are not allowed to have a Bible on their desk or to wear
a cross or other religious symbols.
As the shadows grow long, remain steadfast…
for your God will not be moved by man nor darkness.
You will be hated by everyone because of me,
but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.