WATCH: Poway Rabbi Tells U.N. To Fight Hate With ‘Random Acts Of Goodness’
The rabbi of the Chabad of Poway synagogue, which was attacked by an anti-Semitic gunman in April, addressed the United Nations on Wednesday and told the assembly to fight anti-Semitism and other forms of hatred with “random acts of kindness,” the Jewish Journal reported.
Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, who lost his finger in the shooting, was speaking at a session entitled “Combating Anti-Semitism and Other Forms of Racism and Hate in the Digital Age” as an invited guest of Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon.
“Anti-Semitism, we need to realize, is not just about the Jewish people, it’s about the future of civilization,” Goldstein said. “Do we want to live in a world with blood and tears, or do we want to live in a world with love and beauty?”
The synagogue gunman, who killed one congregant and injured Goldstein and three others, was allegedly influenced by white nationalist rhetoric online. Goldstein urged for the internet to be used for positive things instead.
“Through random acts of goodness and kindness, you create light in the world,” he said.
Goldstein called on Jews to be more visible in their Judaism in response to the incident. He also pulled out a tzedakah box, traditionally used to collect coins to donate to charity. He put some money in it and urged others to continue the practice in their own homes.
“Every morning, think about helping others,” Goldstein said. “So on behalf of all the nations here, I am going to begin an act of kindness, an act of goodness by giving charity, and this will certainly bring blessing to the whole world.”
Aiden Pink is the deputy news editor of the Forward. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @aidenpink