There’s a extremely popular music that Jews sing on the Passover seder. It recounts the great issues which have occurred in our historical past, all of them acts of God. After every miraculous occasion we sing “Dayeinu”: It could have been sufficient.
It was Shabbat, the standard eighth and remaining day of Passover. The candy notes of Dayeinu had barely vanished into reminiscence when the gunman opened fireplace on the Chabad synagogue in Poway, Calif., killing a 60-year-old lady, wounding the rabbi, Yisroel Goldstein, and leaving a 34-year-old man and a younger lady with shrapnel wounds.
It was nearly precisely per week after the lethal terror assaults on church buildings in Sri Lanka and precisely six months after the lethal assault on Jews at worship in Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
Allow us to not be shocked that it occurred on the eighth day of Passover, a competition day. The gunman is in good, grim historic firm. The Nazis cherished to schedule their aktionen in opposition to the Jews for Jewish holidays.
The higher to sully and profane them. That was the Nazis’ inventory in commerce.
In fact, we howl: Dayeinu. Sufficient, already!
However evidently nobody is listening.
How can we eradicate this sort of hatred from the human consciousness? What number of generations have requested that query and located themselves stuttering for solutions?
There’s little that we are able to do to cease the hatred. Why? As a result of anti-Semitism is legendary, superstitious and irrational — and people are three issues which can be just about proof against any type of therapeutic.
However, we are able to scream.
We did it as soon as earlier than.
It’s 1943. A large share of Europe’s Jews have already perished.
In response to the world’s (and America’s) silence within the face of unremitting evil, in addition to their contempt for Hollywood’s “fear of offending its European markets,” the Broadway impresario and lyricist Billy Rose and movie director Ernst Lubitsch produced a dramatic pageant at Madison Sq. Backyard. Its function: to boost public consciousness concerning the plight of European Jewry.
The pageant was written by Ben Hecht, with music by Kurt Weill, and was staged by Moss Hart. Its stars included Edward G. Robinson, Paul Muni, John Garfield, Ralph Bellamy, Frank Sinatra and Burgess Meredith.
200 rabbis and 200 cantors raised their voices in prayer on stage. The pageant was referred to as “We Will By no means Die,” and when it was carried out on March 9, 1943, 40,000 folks stuffed the seats — thanks partially to newspaper commercials supplied free of charge by the Hearst Company.
“We Will Never Die” went on the highway, with performances in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles. The Los Angeles efficiency on the Hollywood Bowl was broadcast throughout the nation on NBC radio. In Washington, First Woman Eleanor Roosevelt attended, together with senators, members of Congress and Supreme Courtroom justices.
Discover a couple of components of this story from the annals of American in style tradition:
First, the venues, which had been large.
Second, the creative status of the pageant’s creators and individuals. These had been first-tier cultural personalities.
Third, whereas there have been definitely Jews concerned within the presentation, contemplate the gentile performers who had been additionally concerned — Bellamy, Sinatra and Meredith.
Lower, now, to 2019.
It’s now time to assemble collectively our present A-list, and within the phrases of the previous sentimental movie cliché — “Hey, kids, let’s put on a show.” It’s now time for American cultural heroes to publicly lend their voices to one of the profound political and ethical crises of our time — the specter of rising anti-Semitism.
No matter its supply.
And, no — no, let’s not slide into the straightforward and tempting “hatred for all people” mode. Let’s not repeat the current error of the Democratic Occasion that couldn’t even give a particular title to the evil of anti-Semitism.
As a result of simply as assuredly as black lives matter, Jewish lives matter.
We want your voices.
I’m naming names (to make use of an older and infinitely darker phrase from Hollywood historical past): Steven Spielberg. Barbra Streisand. Paul Simon. Bob Dylan. Larry David. Jerry Seinfeld. Howard Stern. Howie Mandel. Amy Schumer. Judd Apatow. Barbara Streisand. Sarah Silverman. Natalie Portman. Scarlett Johansson. Peter Himmelman. Mattisyahu. Randy Newman.
Mila Kunis. James Franco. Daniel Day Lewis. Dustin Hoffman. Adam Sandler. Ben Stiller. Jesse Eisenberg. Seth Rogen. Isla Fisher. Sasha Barron Cohen. Emily Rossum. Janis Ian. Phish. Donald Fagen. Carole King. Neil Diamond. Adam Levine.
Michael Douglas. Lisa Kudrow. Alicia Silverstone. Goldie Hawn. Billy Crystal. William Shatner. Marlee Matlin. Drake. Lenny Kravitz. Bar Rafaeli. Gal Gadot. Jason Alexander. Fran Drescher. Mandy Patinkin. Billy Joel. Mayim Bialik. Howard Stern. Jonah Hill.
So, sure — an enormous pageant. Simulcast internationally. With one message.
We should cease the scourge of anti-Semitism.
Then, we go one step additional.
You already know why smoking in America is now one thing, properly, treif?
As a result of, in no small half, of public service commercials.
Think about A-list stars doing commercials in opposition to hatred.
Jerry Seinfeld: “If you hate Jews, you hate me. And that’s no yada yada.”
Sarah Silverman: “If you want to hate Jews, you gotta know that this makes you a f__ a____.”
We condemned smoking to the ash tray of historical past.
Can we, on the very least, say that anti-Semitism is unacceptable, un-American, inhuman?
And, no — we don’t cease at Jewish celebrities. Bear in mind what number of gentile personages had been concerned in “We Will Never Die.”
Lastly, let’s keep in mind one thing.
A little bit greater than 75 years in the past, an ethical conspiracy of Hollywood heavy-hitters pulled off a sequence of main occasions — all to boost consciousness about what was taking place to the Jews of Europe.
And this occurred when the American Jewish neighborhood was a fraction of the scale it’s immediately and when the American Jewish neighborhood had however a fraction of the clout and affluence it has immediately.
They usually did it.
Consider what we might do immediately — and with the web, our means to simulcast it all around the world.
A little bit greater than 75 years in the past, on the finish of the day, Ben Hecht was depressed about what he believed was his pageant’s relative lack of effectiveness.
He informed Kurt Weill: “The pageant has accomplished nothing. Actually, all we have done is make a lot of Jews cry, which is not a unique accomplishment.”
Not this time. This time, the impact is not going to be to make lots of Jews cry.
Will probably be to make lots of people shrei.
As in, scream.