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January 21, 2022

Why we need more Jewish Allies this Holocaust Memorial Day (& Always).

I am a self-prescribed Bujew, Hinjew, Bhakta, and I love Jesus as a man who was a Saint and preached love and serving.

Basically, love is my religion.

Being Jewish is loaded and layered. Being Jewish is not political, yet the world makes it so. We are the underdog and one of the most hated and misunderstood races. And while there’s always been a low level of fear in disclosing my heritage, my race in public—and now it is consistently bubbling on the surface. I’m caught between speaking up daily and protecting myself. My nervous system is jacked up daily by all the misinformation and attacks on my people.

Admitting that I’m Jewish in the wrong environment leaves me open to ignorance, hate, and pressure to be political. When I say I’m Jewish, especially today, I am at significant risk.

Case in point, the Texas Synagogue hostage event that took place on Shabbat one weekend in January 2021 viscerally affects all Jews. It is a violent act of antisemitism, and this act, the world is happy to ignore. This news did not make the New York Times headlines nor receive ample coverage in news outlets.

While the hostage-taker wasn’t a neo-Nazi or white supremacist, he was avenging a Jihadi serving an 86-year sentence, who at her trial had asked there be no Zionists or Israelis on her jury. And yet the outlets cannot call this what it is. The oldest trope of antisemitism is that Jews control everything. The reason for the attack is that this terrorist believed that a random Rabbi would have the power to get the Jihadist released from prison.

Jews cannot go to their place of worship freely without guards and fear of an attack. That is not freedom in America.

And this event is just the cusp of what is happening in America to undermine, dismantle, and intimidate people of Jewish descent. There are schools and universities in America that are teaching “alternative” facts about the Holocaust. To be clear, there are no alternative facts to the Holocaust.

I can no longer be quiet about my Jewish roots. It is in my DNA. Jews are part of a diaspora, meaning we are all over the world and yet there are only 0.1 percent of us globally and 1.9 percent in America. There are Asian, African, Indian, Mexican, South American, and European Jews. I can no longer be afraid to stand up because no one else will. Our allies are slowly disintegrating and siding with misinformation from people of all sides.

From the clear violent attacks of Jews on the streets of Los Angeles and Brooklyn, New York, to the white supremacists rhetoric of Nazism to celebrities and liberal politicians, antisemitism, discrimination, and misinformation is becoming reality. Reported hate crimes have increased overall and the FBI reports that 60 percent are toward Jews.

One tenet of the religion is Tikkun Olam— repairing the world in all forms. Tikkun Olam is not only being an environmentalist, it means feeding people, standing up for social justice, equality for all human beings. In Buddhism, equanimity is at the crux of the teaching to avoid suffering or dukkha. Buddhists believe that ignorance and craving cause people to suffer. Buddhists try to ensure that everyone is treated equally in society and that there is no fundamental difference between humans.

Taking this tenet to heart, I ask for you to be an educated human being and an ally of all Jews.

We need you to understand these facts and remember the Holocaust alongside us as sisters and brothers, as human beings together with humanity.

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