Waking Up Hated

Waking Up Hated
Pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel face off in front of the entrance of Columbia University which is occupied by pro-Palestinian protesters in New York on April 22, 2024. (Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty Images)
Roger L. Simon

I admit to having trouble waking up in the morning, a symptom of aging, I guess. But usually after a coffee or six, I’m good.

On the days I force myself to do a couple of sets of push-ups, I’m even better. The chemicals released improve my mood.

Lately, however, I have found it hard to escape a kind of depression, even on what are now bright spring days with flowers blooming on the trees.

It isn’t hard to figure out why.

I feel hated by a good percentage of my countrymen and women, not to mention the world, because I am Jewish.

One recent poll shows that nearly half of Gen Z voters are sympathetic to Hamas. I wonder how they would have felt if they had stood with me on a Paris street corner in 1989 (my first encounter with Hamas) to watch them march past chanting “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas!” a somewhat more explicit version of “From the river to the sea.”

On second thought, maybe I don’t want to know, even though I realize many of these younger people are relatively innocent products (depending on how you want to look at it) of the twin indoctrinations of our egregious educational system and media (social and otherwise).

I also know we have a president (along with his political party) for whom votes are more important than the truth.

As a graduate of two Ivy League schools (Dartmouth and Yale), I find what is going on at Columbia, Yale, and MIT (perhaps the most dangerous because of the national security implications) beyond reprehensible. No words can really describe it.

When I read that 20 years ago, the current president of Columbia made statements justifying terrorism, I wasn’t the slightest bit surprised.

As have others, I have long ago given up donating to these institutions—not that it matters since they are so rich—but now urge people of all denominations to not send their children to them. That is the only thing I can think of that would effectuate change.

I write all this not to generate sympathy or to think of myself as a victim. I am not in the slightest. I have been extremely fortunate for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is I have the privilege of being able to express my views on this fine outlet.

Most of all, I was lucky to have been born at the end of World War II to a family that had decades before immigrated from Eastern Europe. I have lived my life in America during a period that was remarkably hospitable to Jews and have suffered not at all, personally, from prejudice, although I was very aware, from an early age, of the Holocaust.

That period has clearly reached a turning point. I worry greatly for the younger generations, those kids who now fear violence as they walk across college campuses, and those to come. I saw several of them on the first night of Passover (April 22), which I celebrated with a large group at Chabad of Nashville. Sitting across the table was a 22-year-old who works for The Daily Wire. I knew he was ready to handle it, as were some others I would term young adults. But the 5- and 6-year-old children I saw wandering about? My stomach turned.

I must also acknowledge here the obvious—not all Jews are saintly, to say the least. Some of the people I most dislike are Jews. They are among those I most strongly oppose for ideological or social reasons. Some of them are quite powerful. Largely, they are secular. You would undoubtedly recognize most, if not all, of their names. (I won’t do that here because I am working—early stages—on a novel that deals with this and am not yet sure exactly how I will handle it.)

But with regard to waking up hated, I have found a solution that works if done with intensity and belief. As readers of my newsletter know, I have become, over recent years, more religious. Part of this is the not-surprising product of aging, time’s winged chariot and all that. Part of it is a tidbit of self-knowledge and concomitant respect. But a part of it is also a response to the rising anti-Semitism.

The more I am irrationally hated, the more I want to affirm who I am. I was born Jewish and led a largely secular life—but no longer.

When I get up now, I recite the morning prayer, Modeh Ani, in English and highly imperfect Hebrew. It goes like this:

“I give thanks to you, Adonai, living and eternal, for You have returned within me my soul with compassion. Abundant is Your faithfulness.”

This is my antidote to waking up hated. It seems to work.

I thought that would be my conclusion, but my wife, Sheryl, just texted me the following apropos Columbia and hatred from Ben Bergquam and Real America’s Voice on X:

“Unbelievable! Faculty members at Columbia University come out in support of terror-supporting students! Only one said we shouldn’t support students chanting ‘Death to America’ and I don’t even think he was faculty. The rest are either cowards or complicit. Every one of these [expletive] should be fired!”

Remember this?
Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Prize-winning author and Oscar-nominated screenwriter Roger L. Simon’s latest of many books is “American Refugees: The Untold Story of the Mass Exodus from Blue States to Red States.” He is banned on X, but you can subscribe to his newsletter here.
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