Talmud this Shabbat: Nazi Cartoon, 2019 New York Times–What Do I Do Now?


On April 25, 2019, The New York Times International Edition published a cartoon of such profound Jew hatred that the word Nazi is fully deserved, in no way an exaggeration. The Nazis were defeated in 1945. A Nazi cartoon was published by the Times last Thursday.

To its credit, the Times published a withering critique by Times Columnist Bret Stephens entitled “A Despicable Cartoon in the Times.”

Subsequently, the Editorial Board apologized for the cartoon in an op ed entitled “A Rising Tide of Anti-Semitism.” Many leading Jewish thinkers refused to accept the Times’ apology.

All of this takes places against the backdrop not only of Pittsburgh, San Diego, and Yom Hashoah, but the recent ADL report that Massachusetts had the fourth-highest number (144) of anti-Semitic incidents in 2018.

How do we understand the Times’ grave sin here? Was publishing spine-tingling Jew hatred an aberration, a mistake, or does it confirm long-standing Jew hatred and Israel hatred? Should we accept the Times’ apology? These questions I leave up to each of you.

On Shabbat morning, I want to take this crucial conversation to a higher level and ask a personal question: what is our personal connection to this issue? How shall each of us, personally, respond to this issue? What does this unsettling and scary time demand of each of us? Are we being summoned now? Does history have its eye on you?

We are going to consider a gorgeous source from Lord Jonathan Sacks that will take your breath away and has the very real potential to change your life.

B’shalom,
Wes