If language can incite, it can also heal. In Boston Sunday, hundreds gathered to speak loudly in support of the Jewish community a day after a gunman’s anti-Semitic rampage killed 11 worshipers at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue. The effort was echoed around the United States and beyond – from a Vancouver hockey game’s moment of silence to Paris’s darkened Eiffel Tower to Pope Francis’s prayer "to … extinguish the flames of hatred.”
It’s worth remembering that such vocal support started early in American history. In 1790, when George Washington visited Newport, R.I., the small Jewish community welcomed him with these words: "Deprived as we heretofore have been of the invaluable rights of free Citizens, we now … behold … a Government, which to bigotry gives no sanction, to persecution no assistance….”
Washington responded robustly: “May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.”
In Boston Sunday, political and faith leaders carried that language forward, vowing to love their neighbor, to not retreat in the face of anti-Semitic acts, which rose 57 percent last year. In a final grace note, a rabbi led the gathering in a Hebrew prayer – the voices of hundreds carrying harmoniously across the historic Common.
Now to our stories for today on lone-wolf attackers, Montana's battle against dark money in political campaigns, and the unifying power of the soccer pitch.
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