A synagogue into a slaughterhouse makes us wonder: what the hell happened to us?

11 Jewish congregants were slaughtered by an anti-Semite with an assault rifle.

It’s a timeless tale.

A baby was being accepted into the covenant.

A timeless tale.

The blood of the akaida, delivered by an enemy, the Angel of Hatred, of Spite, of Terror, of Death.

And yet…

“They should have been armed.”

“Around the world, other synagogues have figured it out.”

“This is the environment fostered by a horrible leader with an unchecked voice and too much power.”

“Anyone who has something to say other than ‘it’s tragic anti-Semitism is still a thing’ is missing the point.”

“The right and left are both to blame.”

“This has been going on for thousands of years and is no different.”

I’m not understanding why it isn’t acceptable to mourn in different ways, to react in different ways, but to do it together, like the good old days when tragedy struck.

My feeds are peppered with so many reactions from so many sides, up and down, back and forth, conflicting, conflating.

The facts?

  • Yes, an individual with a vendetta turned a synagogue into a slaughterhouse.
  • Yes, this is anti-Semitism in its most ancient form.
  • Yes, this is anti-Semitism in its most modern form.
  • Yes, we live in a world where this was always possible.
  • Yes, today, it seems like it was never easier to accomplish such a horrendous feat.
  • Yes, we can point to the internet culture for nurturing such feedback loops of hatred.
  • Yes, we can point to extremists on both sides of the aisle nursing this kind of hatred.
  • Yes, our leaders today – from many different angles – seem incapable and ill equipped and unwilling to handle any of this.
  • Yes, everything today is subjective, biased, untrustworthy.
  • Yes, none of this is mutually exclusive.

What are facts these days, anyway, easily dismissed by the wave of a hand at a podium; by a swaying headline, teetering in the winds of fear; by a declaration of Fake News.

What happened to banding together and embracing each other and passing out candles and just being with it? With each other?

It wasn’t that long ago.

The internet culture is bad for the before, and the internet culture is bad for the after. Is this Amalek? Ourselves, online, on hyper-polarized doses of point-of-view? Ripping ourselves to pieces, from the inside out?

Why did he need an assault rifle then?

There, if I zero in on internet culture, will it feel less personal? Not guns or mental health or party affiliation or type of Jew or country of residence or religious level.

It’s all too much. Feels like everyone has absolutely lost it.

We’ve lost it.

Forty years in the desert turned into millennia in the diaspora.

We’re lost.


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