Remembering Kristallnacht at Congregation Beth EL

I was honored to join Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz and Congregation Beth EL of Norfolk in their special event to honor Jews who endured heinous treatment in Germany, beginning that fateful night, November 9, 1938. 

The historic night is known as Kristallnacht (the night of broken glass) because windows of synagogues and Jewish houses were shattered in the German streets and Jews were tortured for no other reason than because they were Jews! 

Thursday night, my message was one of hope and diligence. I explained the link of resilience between the Jews and African Americans during American slave history and during the American Jim Crow era. I reminded the majority Jewish gathering that our God has endowed Jews and African Americans with a unique gift of hope, which emerged from the dark nights of our respective histories. We must see this hope as our gift to the world. Through it, we can overcome evil with good. In the words of Holocaust survivor Hanns Loewenbach, "Evil needs no help!"

We are blessed to live on this side of history to lift up the hope that was passed down to us from our forefathers and foremothers. 

Thursday night, Congregation of Beth EL welcomed me with open arms. The message was well received. 

Together, everyone (you and I) can participate in making great strides toward the healing of a sick society. Let's seek righteousness and justice that affirms human dignity and advances equity, not mere equality. Equity equalizes opportunities in an unjust world. 

We are all part of God's Image in the world!

Antipas L. Harris