Nora Butter is a freshman at GLHS. While she is not formally part of The Lion's Roar staff, she has shared an important piece with us that we felt deserved to be published.
Being Jewish is not something we should have to hide. Without Judaism in my life, I wouldn’t have a clue about where I would be, or more importantly who I’d be. These hate crimes are more examples of the issues of today’s society and how blind people can really be. I know many others who aren’t even aware that anything ever happened. If this atrocity occurred at a church, however, almost everyone would know, and fear would have been the national mood. But that’s not the case. People who don’t know the logistics of antisemitism don’t know how serious this actually is. Further, when we stand up for ourselves, it comes off as if we are over-exaggerating. Yet, they don’t even know the beginning of it. I have a friend from camp who lives in Pennsylvania. He’s a close friend, so when my group of camp people heard about the shooting, we all immediately tried to get in contact with him. We were so scared that something bad had happened until he responded saying that he was okay. There was a moment where he wasn’t responding, and just the thought that we might’ve lost him was sickening.
Now, this doesn’t take away the fact that some folks went into temple that day not knowing that they wouldn’t come out. It frustrates me how people can be so insensitive and ignorant that 1) they are not aware of what’s happening and 2) assumptions are being made that it isn’t a big deal or that it’s not that serious when it is. Apart from the shooting, a rather popular haunted house here outside of Columbus, the Haunted Hoochie had a “swastika night,” where anyone who wore a swastika got free admission. This is just unacceptable. Some people went because they lacked proper education and just wanted the free tickets. Not only does this prove how awful understandings of antisemitism are in our society, but it shows how antisemitism is more relevant than one might think.
All of these incidents occurring at once makes me nervous to go to Sunday school. No one should even have to think of that. I don’t like how these types of incidents are non-unique to places of worship, but schools and public places, too. We shouldn’t have to be scared. We shouldn’t have to hide our identities. We shouldn’t have to walk around with the burden of this situation. Just because this tragedy didn’t take place in our community doesn’t mean that nothing happened at all. If we don’t do anything to fix this, the 10/27/18 Pennsylvania shooting will become only an insignificant event of the past. It will be merely overlooked, just one small part of the hatred that surrounds the world like a lingering storm cloud which never seems to disappear.