This week the old Jewish cemetery in my hometown was vandalized. Almost 200 gravestones were crushed or knocked flat off their bases, many in the historic section dating back to the 1800’s. My eldest brother Danny is buried there outside of St. Louis, as is my little cousin Menachem who died at seven. I have long imagined both their souls to be my spirit guides. It hurt my heart to think that their physical resting places had been trashed by blind hatred.
Since the First of 2017, 54 Jewish communities in the United States and Canada have received threats. This one was real. And it was also an unprecedented act in our country, which (let us remember) was founded upon religious freedom and tolerance. The photos of overturned graves sent shivers through me, reminders of Russian pogroms and Nazi horrors.