At this time of year we have various signs and messages asking us to observe peace on earth and practise good will toward our fellow humans.
Clearly not everyone adheres to such instructions, especially those mired in hatred of certain individuals, or ethnic groups.
We get where Rabbi Harry Brechner of the Congregation Emanu-El is coming from, choosing to not speak any further to media about a graphic hate letter the Victoria synagogue received recently. Someone or some group with a hate-on for the Jewish people apparently had too much time on their hands and created a poster stating “Jewry must Perish,” circulating it to synagogues in major Canadian cities.
Unlike the various acts of terrorism that have plagued the world this year, no particular group stood up to claim responsibility for this mindless action. Whether it was timed to coincide with Hanukkah celebrations or related to recent calls by some, including Donald Trump, to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, is not clear.
It doesn’t matter, either. The fact someone chose to send a vicious discriminatory letter to a very specific group of people is not an example of the tolerant and open-minded Canada that we wish to live in.
We’re not saying that all must be love and light just because it happens to be Christmas, or Hanukkah in this case. There are those for whom the December holiday season holds no special significance or added sense of love. But we all still need to make an effort to respect each other, no matter what time of year it is.
Rabbi Brechner wanted to avoid giving these haters any more publicity and we agree, to a point. While the fact local Jewish people were targeted by a bigoted and stupid letter is still newsworthy, we see dragging a story like this out as preventing the healing process for our local Jewish community and pumping wind into the sails of the morons who sent the letter.