Thanks to the many friends who are asking how to stand with the Jewish people against the scourge of anti-Semitism. Here are some suggestions:
Unleash the power of prayer
When promises of “thoughts and prayers” in the wake of tragedy are merely a social ritual, they are useless. But real prayer is the most powerful thing a believer can offer. Please remember to pray for the “peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6).
“Jerusalem” stands, not just for the nation of Israel, but for all the Jewish people. Pray for the well-being of the Jewish people, for protection from enemies, and ultimately for salvation in Yeshua. It would be wonderful if you would invite other believers from your congregation to join you in prayer.
Discover the power of knowledge
Knowledge helps to tear down walls of prejudice. The more you learn about Jewish people, their culture and history, the better prepared you will be to speak up when you hear falsehoods. Invite like-minded Christian friends to learn along with you, so they too will be equipped to stand against ignorance and hate.
Holocaust museums have helped numerous Christians understand the horrific nature of anti-Semitism and what Jewish people have experienced historically.
If there is a Jewish Community Center (JCC) close by, avail yourself of the variety of lectures and courses offered. If you are not near any of these resources, consider forming a book club at your church. You could read such classics together as Chaim Potok’s The Chosen, and develop a greater appreciation for Jewish culture in its manifold varieties.
If your church invites someone from Jews for Jesus, see if your pastor will be willing to have him or her speak during Sunday School and introduce the congregation to the history and culture of the Jewish people.
Share the power of love through serving
An important response to anti-Semitism is to show that Christians stand in solidarity with the Jewish community. This kind of supportive friendship can take many forms:
- When anti-Semitic incidents occur, write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, or even an op-ed article. Affirm Christian care, prayers, and solidarity for the Jewish people.
- Similarly, in the aftermath of such incidents, write a letter to the rabbi of a local synagogue, expressing your Christian affirmation of the Jewish people. You might ask if you could bring a small group to a Sabbath service to learn about Judaism and to show solidarity. Most Reform and Conservative synagogues will welcome visitors.
- Consider asking a local Jewish charity, nursing home, or cemetery if they would welcome volunteer help. (Note: pebbles left on the tops of headstones should not be removed; they are markers indicating a visitor has come.)
If you choose to do any of the above, remember, your help should not be a veiled attempt to evangelize. Evangelism normally happens when you develop relationships with individuals to the point where you are both comfortable sharing at a more intimate level. Standing with Jewish people can lead to those kinds of relationships. And if it doesn’t – you’ve still done your part in showing God’s love.