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An Open Letter to My Fellow Jews

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On Saturday, Americans witnessed a literal return of the Holocaust on our own soil. A self-proclaimed Nazi walked into a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and murdered 11 Jews because they were Jewish. He shouted out, “All Jews must die!” as he was doing it.
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In the two days that have followed, I have watched as partisans have once again exploited this atrocity for political advantage, using it to attack both our president and our civil rights. Many of those who have done so are my fellow Jews.
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To every one of you who have done this, I say this: You have lost your way.
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Jews do not place politics ahead of the dignity of human life. Jews do not exploit mass murder to take cheap shots at politicians who had nothing to do with the perpetration of the atrocity. Jews don’t use the slaughter of our own people to try to make us weaker and more vulnerable.
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And most of all, Jews do not use tragedy to divide us and inspire more tragedy.
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Every one of you who has used the occasion of this Holocaust in Miniature to tear down your political opponents has lost sight of what it means to be Jewish. Your priorities are backwards, and your words and actions are toxic to our people and to our nation.
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After the Holocaust we pledged as a people to Never Forget. Today I beg you to Never Forget who we are as Jews.
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Our mission as Jews is Tikkun Olam – Repair the World. This is the core of our scared Covenant. God placed us in this world to make it better. When you use a human tragedy to breed division, resentment, and hate, you are not healing the world. You are compounding the damage.
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This is a rejection of our Covenant with God.
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It is at times like this that we need to draw close to each other and remember what it is that unites us as Jews, as Americans, and as human beings. If you are letting the hate of a lunatic breed hate within your own heart, then you have allowed him to kill more than just 11 fellow Jews. You have allowed him to kill the lovingkindness within your soul and to set back our sacred mission of Tikkun Olam.
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I implore you not to give him that perverse victory. Remember who we are as Jews and why we are here. Reflect on the evil that hate breeds. And pledge not to succumb to the temptations of hate.
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Most of all, reaffirm your commitment to heal a world that today so desperately needs healing.
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This is who we are as Jews.
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Ken Falkenstein

Author: Ken Falkenstein

Ken Falkenstein is the Managing Editor of Committed Conservative and brings a wealth of experience and expertise in public affairs to the job. Ken served in the U.S. Army in the last years of the Cold War as a Russian linguist for military intelligence and the NSA. After leaving the Army, he earned his degree in Secondary Education from Old Dominion University, where he also wrote a popular column in the student newspaper.

Upon graduation, Ken worked as a Legislative Aide to two Republican members of the Virginia House of Delegates. Ken also served as Corresponding Secretary of the Young Republican Federation of Virginia, managed several successful political campaigns, and managed governmental affairs operations for a local Realtor association.

In 1995, Ken moved to Washington, DC to serve as a Legislative Assistant to Sen. John Warner (R-VA). While working for Sen. Warner, Ken attended law school at night, earning his J.D. with honors from the George Mason University School of Law (n/k/a The Antonin Scalia Law School). Since that time, Ken has practiced as a civil litigation attorney, including serving for three years as an Associate City Attorney for the City of Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Ken previously was a contributor to the highly-regarded political blog Bearing Drift and was a weekly co-host of The Steve Batton Radio Program. In 2016, Ken ran unsuccessfully for the Virginia Beach School Board. Ken is also a former President of the Down Syndrome Association of Hampton Roads.

Ken now lives outside of Denver, Colorado with his wife, Kim, and three sons, Adam, Dylan, and Joshua, who has Down syndrome. Ken’s writing is motivated and informed primarily by his concern for his kids’ future.