Going to Church this weekend was in most ways like any other Sunday, we carried about in our same comfortable way, knowing that we were gathered in safety together. But when our Pastor rose to speak, he asked that we pray for the safety of Jews in synagogues across Canada and the United States. We take our safety for granted in Canada, especially in houses of worship. But, in light of the single bloodiest attack on Jewish congregants in American history, and as we near the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht – when Nazis across Germany attached Jewish stores and homes, murdering nearly 100 Jews — we should remember how tenuous the safety of many in our community can often be.
Right now, in Canada and across North America, Jews are having to ask questions about their safety and whether armed guards are needed to defend their families. This conversation is happening here, in Canada, in 2018. Let that sink in for a moment.
I have sometimes been guilty of standing by while others are attacked, of letting comments or gestures slide that contribute to a threatening atmosphere, but this attack has been a wake-up call for me and for many Christians in Canada and the States. And it should be for us all, to defend the most vulnerable in our community, and to stand against even casual bigotry from coworkers, friends, and family.
I refuse to live in a city where people must consider arming themselves while they worship and locking the doors of their churches, synagogues or mosques behind them. I encourage everyone to feel the same.