It’s Hard to Intimidate Righteous People

By Mark Naison (October 27, 2018)

My heart goes out to the families and friends of those killed and wounded in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, and to everyone who feels a little more vulnerable and a little less secure as a result of this horrendous act. Everyone stoking the flames of hatred bears some responsibility for the political climate that makes actions of this kind more likely. How can people feel safe in an atmosphere filled with so much rage and division? We desperately need healing; what we get instead is provocation. I hope that people will come to their senses and realize that the path we are on is destructive to everyone.

I come from a line of Jewish scholars on one side, and of Jewish warriors and justice fighters on the other. I carry the weight of a tragic history inside me, of people who have seen the worst that humanity has to offer.

And from that I make this proclamation- Nothing you do can make me cower in fear. Nothing you do can stop me from fighting for justice. Nothing you do can prevent me from identifying with all people fighting persecution, intimidation and violence.

Your bombs and bullets and threats have no weight against the moral and spiritual force I carry within me.

I’m not scared of pipe
Or threatening talk
It’s easy to incite
fools and cowards 
It’s hard to intimidate
Righteous people.


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