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Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up

The world needs your voice now… more than ever. 
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March 27, 2024
Jasmin Merdan / Getty Images

Since Oct. 7, the Jewish community has been subject to hatred, bullying and gaslighting. In mainstream media and on social media, on city streets and college campuses, online and off, we’ve been viciously attacked after one of the most horrifying days in Jewish history. 

So why should we stay silent? 

Now is when we need to speak up. 

Some Jews are afraid to speak up because they believe they will lose their friends. News flash: If your friends don’t like you for saying something, they were never your friends in the first place.

Other Jews are afraid to speak up because they don’t want to deal with the possible online trolls who will come their way. You know what? You could ignore them; they’re mostly fake accounts, anyway.

Some Jews stay quiet because they don’t want to deal with the drama; they are too emotionally exhausted. I understand this one very well, and of course, I empathize with this point of view. At times over these past few months, I’ve had to step back from writing my columns and putting up posts on social media to get a breather and recharge. 

But I’ve found that when I come back and I’m outspoken, it gives my fellow Jews strength and courage to also say something. And that gives me the energy to keep going. 

People have asked me, “Aren’t you worried there will be pushback?”

I’ve certainly gotten pushback, but I ignore it and block my fair share of people on the internet. Overwhelmingly, I’ve gotten support from my fellow Jews, as well as non-Jews who stand up for us. 

I’ve certainly gotten pushback, but I ignore it and block my fair share of people on the internet. Overwhelmingly, I’ve gotten support from my fellow Jews, as well as non-Jews who stand up for us. Receiving messages that I put a smile on someone’s face during these distressing times is an incredible feeling. It means I’m fulfilling my mission to make the world a better place. 

Recently, I spoke at the JNF-USA conference about anti-Israel bias in the media, and a woman came up to me afterwards and told me how disappointed she was in her progressive friends. She’d supported all the progressive causes, and yet, when Oct. 7 happened, all her friends abandoned her. All the news she listened to was extremely anti-Israel. She was pushed out of her social circles and changed her views right then and there. 

“Speak up,” I told her. “Write about it.”

“You think people want to hear from me? I’m scared no one will care, or that people will come after me,” she said.

“Your voice is needed, especially now. People will appreciate it.”

Just last week, she got her first column published in a major Jewish newspaper. She’s been receiving praise and feels encouraged to keep speaking up and writing about her experiences.

In this moment, we can’t be silent. In fact, it’s the opposite: we must be shouting at the top of our lungs. We shouldn’t worry about whether or not we’ll come across as “the good Jew” – the time for that is over. We must stand up for Israel, for Judaism, for God. We must stand up for truth. We must stand up for what is right. 

I know that at first, it’s a little scary. Hey, it was also scary for Nachshon to be the first Jew to jump in the Sea of Reeds. Once the water was up to his nose, though, the sea parted, and the Jews were able to pass, escape the Egyptians and receive the Torah in the desert, fulfilling their mission. 

I urge you, too, to take that leap of faith. 

We only have to fear Hashem. And as Jews, it’s our job to spread Hashem’s love and light in this world, which means we have to be outspoken. 

So, take a stand. The world needs your voice now… more than ever. 

Have you spoken up since Oct. 7? Email me: Kylieol@JewishJournal.com.


Kylie Ora Lobell is the Community Editor of the Jewish Journal.

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