Denomination is irrelevant when Jews are attacked
Over the years I have been highly impressed with the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle, which has done a wonderful job serving our diverse and unified Pittsburgh Jewish community.
This past week I came across your article, “Members of Orthodox community assaulted in Squirrel Hill,” (June 25), and I was alarmed.
First of all, the article was on the bottom of page 15. Why? When Jews are attacked in our own Squirrel Hill community — when there are broken bones and a hospitalization — shouldn’t this be front page material? It seems to me that the Chronicle has a responsibility here to make sure an antisemitic act of this type is well publicized.
Secondly, why is the term “Orthodox” highlighted in the title of the article? Jews were attacked, period. The denomination is irrelevant.
There are those who think that the Jewish people are assaulted when they are readily identified as Jews (“Orthodox”). However, history has taught us just the opposite. Attempts by Jews to assimilate into their surrounding culture have repeatedly ended in disaster.
Jews were assaulted. Highlighting “Orthodox” diminishes the reality of a world that is seeing increased attacks on all Jews. When all is said and done, denominations don’t define us. A Jew is a Jew.
It is best to be strong in our convictions, in our Jewish identity, standing tall and proud, knowing and living who we are, being a light unto the nations. Others will respect us and we will respect ourselves. And our children will absorb a positive energy as Jews.
May the Chronicle continue to do its tremendous work, inspiring and serving our amazing Pittsburgh Jewish community, which indeed has been a shining light to the world.
John Yaakov Guterson
Editor’s note: A more detailed account of the recent antisemitic attacks in Squirrel Hill appears on pg. 1 of this week’s paper and was posted online on June 25.