I cherish this platform as a place where I can share my personal style and beauty advice, but alas, life is not always kittens and rainbows. And as someone who is lucky to have a strong community of readers here on my tiny piece of the internet, I feel it is only right to use my space to publish poignant pieces such as this one.
I’ve been feeling super melancholy since the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting on Saturday. I basically cried all Saturday morning, started to feel better, read an article, cried again, got myself together, then cried again. Then I had to go out because I paid $125 for a ticket to a Halloween party. It was great to hang out with friends and see that life does continue, even after such senseless tragedy. But I really just wanted to stay home and feel miserable for the victims and their families and humanity as a whole.
After moping and feeling like shit for a few days, I decided that I didn’t want to feel like that anymore. I donated to The Cleveland Jewish Federation’s Victim’s of Terror Fund, which made me feel a bit better, like I was channeling myself into doing something useful. Another option is donating to HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society). (HIAS is under attack because white nationalists think we are trying to undermine their power by aiding immigrants.) I also started posting my feelings on social media, and received waves of support and heartfelt words of comfort.
Do I feel 100% better? No. A little better, yes. I feel badly that I am so desensitized to shootings and violence in America, that when this happened I was so quick to chalk it up to our “new normal.” When a gunman opened fire on a place of worship, I can’t say that I was beyond surprised. But, as a Jewish woman, this attack feels so personal, and a bit too close to home. I grew up in a community in Cleveland, Ohio, that is very similar to Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh. A strong, long-standing Jewish community that felt like one big family. Pittsburgh is just a two hour drive from my hometown, too. I can imagine my family and friends sitting in the synagogue on a Saturday morning, talking about the weather, watching the kids run around, and discussing the amazing new place they went to lunch last week. They’re reciting the same prayers that my people have cherished for years, and repeating traditions that the Jews have died for as history repeats itself.
The Anti-Semitic massacre in Pittsburgh wasn’t a terrorist attack, it was a hate crime. The deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States. And to use it to segway into other topics such as gun control or racism is wholly inappropriate. And I take it extremly personally. 11 Jews murdered because a lunatic believed that we have something to do with the migrant caravan arriving from Mexico. In Hebrew school we were reminded on a daily basis of the history of our people, and a contstant theme is that historically, anti-semitism and mass violence against Jews was tied to propaganda and blame, started by some crazy conspiracy that we were the source of all the problems. From medieval times of burning Jews for allegedly poisoning wells, to Russian pogroms, to the Holocaust. And here we are again, in our own country, dying over anti-semitic conspiracy theories. I always thought that anti-semitism was something my people left behind in Europe after the Holocaust, but now I see that it is not true. My heart is broken.
Please teach your children, friends, and communities that Jews are just like anyone else. We love our families, go to work, and try to be good people. Hate is a disease that spreads and infects every corner of society. And believing in and perpetuating conspiracies only leads to death. Hateful speech always ends in violence – thus what we SAY is of the utmost importance. What we all need now is love, acceptance, and those who are willing to say “HERE I AM”, “I AM WITH YOU”, “YOU ARE NOT ALONE.”
This is such a powerful post dear. Reminds me of the quote from Edmund Burke that says – “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” And yes dear, I am with you, you are not alone.
Jessica | notjessfashion.com
Shelbee on the Edge says
Roxanne, I can never seem to wrap my brain around acts such as these. It is completely heart breaking and so totally unnecessary. It makes one want to scream “Why?” at the top of your voice out into the universe. And I suspect we will never know why these twisted ideals of unevolved people cause them to commit such actions. Keep using your platform to spread love and kindness and awareness…we have to…it is our way of combatting such hatred and darkness. And the fact remains that darkness and light cannot exist together…so we must keep our lights shining brighter than ever in order to snuff out the darkness. I love you, my friend!
You are so wise, Shelbee, and absolutely right. The way to combat darkness is with light, and the way to compbat hate is with MORE LOVE! Thank you for your support, always.
I understand your feelings. My husband lost a friend at the Pulse Night club shootings and it’s just unreal that we live in a time where someone will just kill someone out of their own prejudice and racial notions. Its heartbreaking and I know that the only good thing is that we come together as humans and support eachother when things like this happen. There is no way to explain it. Much love to you.
Thank you for your kind words, Ruth. It pains me that we are all suffering.
Ezra Rahamim says
I love you bonbon. Your heart is as beautiful as your look, kittens and blog of glam. Rabi Nachman of Barslav already said that life is like a narrow bridge and most important is not to be afraid at all.
HERE I AM” “I AM WITH YOU” “YOU ARE NOT ALONE” and I am not afraid at all.
Thank you! I love you too, and I will not be afraid.
Susan Rahamim says
That was a beautiful post. Hate is very upsetting and trying to get to know, understand and support each other is important!
Thank you. We must always combat hate with more love! You’re so right – conspiracies and hate are the unfortunate result of misunderstanding.
Meghan Grace says
Good morning, Roxanne. Your post today brought tears to my eyes. I am heartbroken for you, for the Jewish people who have suffered so and for our country.
“HERE I AM” “I AM WITH YOU” “YOU ARE NOT ALONE”
Love to you and your family.
THANK YOU Meghan. Your love and support means the world.