“We are going to flood the internet to encourage people to do good deeds…to do random acts of kindness, which will bring light to the world,” said Chabad of Poway’s Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein at the U.N. General Assembly’s special meeting on the theme “Combating Anti-Semitism and Other Forms of Racism and Hate: The Challenges of Teaching Tolerance and Respect in the Digital Age” this week. He told the crowd that the fight against anti-Semitism is a fight for the future of the civilization.
“Don’t fight darkness in the world with darkness; fight darkness with light,” Goldstein said.
Goldstein encouraged social media users not to use the internet in the same way the Poway synagogue “terrorist” did.
“Let us turn the swords of social media into a conduit of light and kindness.”
The rabbi was wounded when a gunman burst into his synagogue on April 27, killing Lori Gilbert-Kaye and injuring the rabbi in both of his hands.Two others were wounded in the attack.
The rabbi said that he had lost his finger, and that with “our fingers” we should be pointing out the good and not the bad in each other.
“Don’t use your finger to point at [the bad of] each other,” he said. Use the finger to point at each other what is good about us.”
“Anti-Semitism is a problem for the world; it is not a Jewish problem,” he said. “It is the longest problem of the world. Anti-Semitism is not just about the Jewish people, it is about the future of civilization. We have to ask, do you want to live in a world of blood and tears or a world of love and beauty?”
“Lori Kaye did not deserve to die because she came to synagogue,” the rabbi said. “The reason that she died is because she was a Jew. I was shot because I am a Jew. When you look at me now, you see a man with a black hat and a black jacket. The first thing that comes to your mind is that it looks like a Jew. But you know what? I look just like you. I am a human being. We are all human beings.”
He also called on all the nations of the world to go back to the basics: “I ask every nation to take on and apply the seven Noahide laws.”
UN Secretary-General António Guterres gave his own address to those assembled, saying it is time “to tackle the tsunami of hatred that is so visible and violence across the world today.”
Calling on the world to declare war on anti-Semitism, Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon said, “The sounds we heard at Pittsburgh and Poway do not allow us to act with restraint. The world’s approach to eradicating anti-Semitism must be like that of modern warfare. It must attack multiple fronts.”
Delegates from 90 different countries attended the event, as well as hundreds from the Jewish community in the U.S.
By VIN and combined sources