The Writing Is On The Wall...
As I wrote this, news was just breaking on Fox that two more deaths are now attributed to the horrific mass shooting on Saturday at the Walmart in El Paso—and another nine confirmed on Sunday in the Dayton club shooting—America’s death toll over this weekend is now 31. Thirty-one of our fellow countrymen lost to senseless, violent hatred—much of it again with root channels leading back to the Internet.
The weekend shootings cast an even darker pall over my plans to communicate with you on the threatening, antisemitic messages of hatred spray-painted on the doors of the Lake Harriet Upper Elementary School in Minneapolis. Crews have since painted over the garish swastika and vile ethnic slur left as the hate-filled calling card of an unknown vandal, but the fear remains. Looking forward to PJTN’s “March To Minnesota” campaign, I am contacting the Superintendent of Schools in Minneapolis to arrange a meeting. My mandate is to demand better protection and security for Jewish students and to educate them to understand how PJTN can help yet another community deal with the antisemitism epidemic that is growing more prevalent and violent every day. With Ilhan Omar claiming Minneapolis as her home base, the city is virtually now the belly of the beast both literally and figuratively. It’s a spot PJTN must plant a flag of opposition. Please go online today at www.pjtn.org to sign the PJTN petition demanding her removal.
Reflecting on all we see unfolding, tragically, white supremacy; black lives matter; fringe group hatred; conspiracy theories; antisemitism; and deranged “manifestos” are now as familiar tropes to our vocabulary in America as the order menu at Starbucks. We have created a monster in the form of a platform where so much hatred can be concocted in secret and yet disseminated through the atmosphere with the stroke of a key to reach untold billions. Hitler would have loved the times we are living in. Swastikas, themes, images and the same violent antisemitic vitriol that birthed the dawn of the Holocaust are now everywhere online—both on dedicated hate sites and the Facebook pages of college students that have been raised in Christian homes.
As we look around us…”the writing is on the wall” everywhere. Violence is growing against the Jews around the globe, as is antisemitism. The online culture has become the new wall surrounding our daily lives and these “walls” unfortunately are too often covered in hate.
But God also writes on walls. The fifth chapter of the Book of Daniel retells the story of King Belshazzar’s great feasts where thousands of his nobles where gathered to eat and drink from the sacred vessels looted in the destruction of the First Temple. Daniel 5 tells us: “So they brought in the silver and gold goblets that had been taken from the Temple of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines drank from them. As they drank the wine they praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone. Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall... "Mene, mene tekel, parsin.”
The translation from Daniel to the king: “God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end. You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.” That very night Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians was slain—and Babylon’s greatness was forever taken from it.
A different wall, a different time but the same God who oversees Israel today and is not mocked. Woe to those of today who can’t read the message!
Praying for all in America who have suffered loss in the weekend violence…and that is all of us.
Can our Jewish brethren count on you to stand at their side in your community?