It isn’t just Jews who should have been horrified by what happened at Harvard.
The story was far more than an illustration of vile anti-Semitism at one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the world.
Following in the vein of today’s non-apologetic apologies, Husam then publicly wrote a disclaimer: “I am writing to apologize, as sincerely as I can via this limited form of communication, to anyone who may have felt offended by the comments I made last week.” He writes to apologize if anyone may have felt offended – which Husam clearly doesn’t believe they should feel.
Like lots of anti-Semitic canards, it is the opposite of the truth since observant Jews have always practiced standards of cleanliness and hygiene far in excess of gentiles. Jews must comport and conduct themselves so that these swine do not even think of approaching them.Jewish tradition powerfully makes the point by way of the way in which we observe the days preceding Shavuot, the holiday commemorating the divine gift of the Torah to the Jewish people.These days should have been marked by joy and happy anticipation.How tragic that Harvard has somehow been unable to transmit that idea and ideal to its brilliant scholars.Rabbi Benjamin Blech, a frequent contributor to Aish, is a Professor of Talmud at Yeshiva University and an internationally recognized educator, religious leader, and lecturer.