The Vicious Babushka: My Message to the Congregations Who Invited Pamela Geller to Speak
I am sure that you are familiar with all the anti-Semitic myths and libels that have been going around for centuries, and the excuses that anti-Semites make for themselves.
“The Talmud says that Jews are commanded to hate Goyim!”
“Circumcision is cruelty to little babies!”
“Jews make you pay a Kosher Tax on food!”
“Jewish ritual slaughter is cruelty to animals!”
“Mikvah is degrading to women!”
“A Jew was convicted of child molesting, so all Jews must be child molesters!”
“I don’t hate all Jews but those Ultra-Orthodox sure are scary!”
“We must ban those rabbinical courts that judge according to Halachah!”
You have heard them all.
You are probably also aware that some of the people who believe in these myths are active in movements to ban brit milah [circumcision] and shechitah [kosher slaughter], to prevent Jews from constructing eruvin [Sabbath boundaries] and have joined with neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers. If they are not marginalized in society, they can do a lot of damage to our community.
Would you invite such a person into your shul, to address your congregation? Or would you say they can enjoy their right to free speech, somewhere far away from you?
Yet you invited Pamela Geller to speak at your shul, after she was turned away from another synagogue who realized that her message is identical to the myths and libels that I have listed above, yet substituting “Koran” for “Talmud,” “Halal” for “kosher” and “Sharia” for “Halachah.” Her accusations against Muslims are just as false and offensive as the same accusations that are made against us. She may have a right to free speech according to the law of the land, but that does not mean a right to any venue.
I am deeply disappointed as an Orthodox Jew, that you have offered a platform to someone who spreads hate speech and is affiliated with neo-Nazis.
We should not stand for the same hatred and intolerance towards others that we have endured for so many long centuries.
The Vicious Babushka