Sunday, March 29, 2020

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Having attended the Siyum HaShas in MetLife Stadium along with 90,000 other Jews, I can affirm that it was an outstanding event. I would like to comment on the size of the crowd.

According to a 2013 Pew Research Center report, there are an estimated 5.3 million Jews in America, of whom 10% identify as Orthodox. Thus, approximately 20% of all Orthodox Jews in America were at the Siyum HaShas. These statistics are remarkable in two ways.

The first is to appreciate the commitment of so many people to gather in one place, all huddled together for over five hours in the cold. (Not as some privileged few, who shall remain unnamed, who sat in a warm, comfortable press box with, I assume, plenty of hot drinks and refreshments). And after that they still stayed to dance, sing and daven together.

But secondly, and paradoxically, the same statistics illustrate the reverse side of the coin, which is how small the Orthodox community is. Consider that 20% of all Orthodox Jews in American can fit into a single stadium at one time. It is totally irrational to think that this tiny slice of the population is blamed for so many ills of society and is the target of so much violence, hate and hostility, by all segments of the general population, not just “white supremacists” as the liberals like to bellow.

What we have here is classical anti-Semitism in its worst form, against a small, defenseless, group being used as scapegoats, as championed by the liberal progressives. This violence cannot end well for anyone. As the expression goes, “What starts with the Jews, doesn’t end with the Jews.”

Max Wisotsky
Highland Park