We live in a terrifyingly connected world.
Mike Kelly, who lives in Teaneck, wrote a book about a bombing that had a great impact not only on the lives it snuffed out and the others it devastated, but also on the thwarted hunt for peace in the Middle East. (The story is on page 30.)
The bombing’s effect, and the effect of other bombings like it, also reverberated right here, in Bergen County. Sara Duker, who was killed in a bombing, lived here, Alisa Flatow, the victim of another bombing, went to school here, and Alisa’s father, who lives two counties over, practices law just to our south.
The bombings drew us all together in pain, and that pain continues.
The connections between us should not be only painful. That’s why it’s so very good, as Rabbi Orenstein points out on the next page, when activities, whether sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey or by other groups, bring us together across denominational lines and divides. (See, for example, the Shlomo Carlebach memorial and Soul Farm concerts on pages 6 and 7.) That’s happening more and more. It’s encouraging.
And that’s also why it’s so very bad when we resort to name-calling. There might be something worse than one Jew calling another Jew a Nazi – and not a garden-variety Nazi, but Julius Streicher, the Nazis’ chief propagandist, editor of Dur Sturmer – but it’s hard to think what that might be.
There is a great deal of hate aimed at us from the outside world, and it seems to be growing. We should know better than to hate each other as well. And if we really can’t help from hating each other, at least we should keep our mouths shut about it.