A Sad Repeat of History

By Joan Kurtz

Winter is my most favorite time of year. I love the crunch of frost under my boots and the quiet of the woods when it starts to snow. December is the beginning of winter and, of course, the holiday season. Sadly, this is not a happy time for me.

This Hanukah will be the first time in the past 30-plus years when I will not put my electric menorah onto my window sill. In my town here in western Massachusetts, we have recently seen racist graffiti on boulders on our local mountaintop. There have also been reports of swastikas and racist slurs found on school buildings.

So … do I really want to show people in this town that I am Jewish? Should I just light my candles behind shuttered windows or should I proclaim it to the community with a menorah on display in the window?

My husband and I have decided to err on the side of caution for at least this year. We are hoping that this will all change over the next few months and we can return to what was our normal way of living.

But with reports throughout the U.S. of an increase in racist, religious and xenophobic displays of hate and intolerance, one can only hope ...