As you read these words, I’d like you to consider two current news items about books.
1 – Sales of the anti-Semitic forgery called The Protocols of the Elders of Zion — are selling quite briskly, which is another way of saying: lots of people continue to read this poison.
2 – As you must already be aware, there’s a county in Tennessee where the critically acclaimed graphic novel called Maus — has been banned, reflecting a stunning display of misguided leadership on the part of that county’s school board.
I’m staying focused on these two items because of how directly they impact Jews near and far. Seen within the larger context of the recent hostage-taking incident at the shul in Colleyville, Texas – part of a rising wave of Jewish hatred — I must say that the times in which we live are very troubled. Things are not okay.
The trouble is — look around, people — there’s plenty of troubling trends in our society that qualify as a blinking red blaring siren. And, incredibly, there are a lot of folks who are nonchalantly strolling through another day in paradise, as in: What, me worry?! So folks hit the mute button and all the disquieting stories go away. Except they don’t. I titled this article ‘Indifference’ because I fear the lethal side effects of not caring. I’m heartened that folks may be getting the message about Maus and many other censored books. Ray Bradbury presciently warned us with ‘Fahrenheit 451.’ The structures of free societies cannot magically resist those who wish to burn it all down. Vigilance, people. Yes, of course, we need armed patrols at shul. But I’m writing about something much bigger than that. We cannot take the freedoms we enjoy for granted.