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Pre-Experience an Anti-Semitic Tragedy

10/16/2018 12:00:00 AM


Chaim Strauchler

The spray painting of anti-Israel graffiti outside one of our local Jewish Day Schools (Leo Baeck) has called attention to anti-Semitism within our city. 

Insurance companies are incentivized to help their clients mitigate risk. They are on the line when tragedy happens. Insurance companies face a great challenge when encouraging people to protect against risk, DENIAL, i.e. the seemingly innate refusal of the human mind to appreciate the gravity of a potential disaster before actually experiencing one.  Read an article about how one insurance company even creates environments that allow its clients to pre-experience disaster.

They do so, because, "generally, people don't respect the power of potential disasters, and they don't adequately plan for them."

In a recent article for The Atlantic, author Howard Jacobson makes an argument about Jewish concerns relating to anti-Semitism among so called "anti-racists." He writes along the same vein as an insurance executive might speak about risk.

Though I'm not planning to go anywhere myself for the foreseeable future, I don't laugh when others express deep anxiety and even bring up Berlin in the 1920s. When do you know it's time to leave? It's a fair question.  Some do laugh and point to the vastly different circumstances. But then, skeptical Berliners would doubtless have said the same had anyone brought up the pogroms in Kishinev or Kiev. It will always be more comfortable to believe that nothing's going to happen. Mainly it doesn't; the trouble is ... and then suddenly it does. If we haven't learned yet how quickly a friend can become an enemy, or an enemy become a worse one, we haven't learned anything. 

No matter where we live in the world, we must recognize the risk of anti-Semitism to us as Jews. We too have a denial problem. As the number of Holocaust survivors dwindles, we may need to find methods by which to pre-experience anti-Semitic disasters.

Mon, 30 November 2020 14 Kislev 5781