An open letter to: My dear antisemite.
Are you surprised that I have addressed you “my dear,” while also referring to you as an “antisemite” – someone who by their words and behavior tries to hurt, may even try to destroy we Jews?
I just saw a photo of the graffiti you wrote last week on a wall in Ajijic. You drew a Star of David and a Swastika and wrote the words: “F...k Jews,” next to a graphic drawing of the male anatomy.
I say “my dear” because, even though you hate me, I do not hate you. Why? Because my religion believes you too are a child of God. For that reason, I am commanded “to love my neighbor as I love, and care for, myself.” So how can I hate you anymore than I hate myself?
However, my religion also teaches we Jews not “to turn the other cheek,” to ignore racism; especially given the destruction of “an estimated six million” Jews from 1941 to-1945, and millions of other human beings – something incomprehensible – but understood in the context of the very kind of hatred you expressed.
Hence, my dear antisemite we white-outed the words on that wall. They are no longer there, and even if you or some other racist writes them again, you cannot whiteout the Jewish people.
In fact, we Jews have written our presence in Mexico since 1519, with the arrival of Conversos, referring to our ancestors who were forcibly converted to Catholicism and then became subject to the Spanish Inquisition, which in Mexico came to an end in 1821. Since then, we have thrived here and contributed to the welfare and culture of this amazing country.
Yes, we are here in this blessed place where Mexicans treat others with amablidad, kindness and respeto, respect – the very opposite of your sadistic outburst.
My dear antisemite, I also call you “dear” because I truly feel sorry, in Hebrew mits-taer, I am pained, by the anger that stirs your feelings so much that you can hate me, even though you may not even know any Jews - certainly not me. So, if there is anytime you want to talk about your feelings about me, and, or yourself; give me the opportunity to meet you. I am here to listen, to learn possibly something I don’t know, and may even end up giving you a hug.
Philip Posner, Rabbi, Rabbiposner.com