I recognize that as someone with a social media following, I have a platform that allows my voice to be heard. I also recognize that by putting this out there, I will receive a lot of hatred. I do not care. As a mother and businesswoman, I feel I have a responsibility to address what is going on in the world. I have a responsibility to do my best to affect positive change – and that starts with change within ourselves and our communities. We are living in a world that is very sad and divided right now. A world where there just doesn’t seem to be a middle ground. The ability for fake news to go viral in a matter of seconds continues to drastically fuel these fires. As someone who hopes to be a growing thought leader, I need to conscientiously address what is going on, choosing my words carefully, even if my opinions raise controversy.
For the past week, I have been sucked down the rabbit hole of social media that is causing the greatest wave of antisemitism I’ve felt in my lifetime. I am a fearless woman, but today, i am afraid for humanity. Yesterday, I watched a scary, yet touching video, and wondered why these types of videos don’t hit the news. It’s because media doesn’t want to solve conflict. They want to ignite conflict. It was a video of a Jewish man getting beaten and almost lynched to death after getting lost in a Palestinian neighborhood. The beautiful part was the ending. 2 armed Palestinian men, risking their own lives in a mob of Jew-killers, to save a Jew. Why don’t these Palestinian heroes get attention? Why doesn’t the lynching of a Jew get attention?
I am not going to get into the history of the Israeli – Palestinian conflict, as I am not educated enough to speak on it’s deep rooted complexities. I will not be part of the problem by spreading misinformation. But I am certain of one thing. HAMAS is our mutual enemy. Innocent Jewish and Palestinian people are getting murdered because of Hamas’s Regime. Hamas is a terrorist organization. Innocent Palestinian children are indoctrinated into a life filled with hatred and violence because of Hamas.
Jewish moms, I implore you to think about this. As a mother living in Gaza, and frankly in many places in the Middle East, imagine not having the ability to learn better yourself so that you could teach your children better? INNOCENT PEOPLE ON BOTH SIDES ARE DYING, innocent people on both sides are yearning for peace. The answer starts with education.
The quick proliferation of misinformation on social media has put this world in a grave place. You know the phrase ‘with great power comes great responsibility?’ Well, too many people with power have carelessly posted misinformation that has led to dangerous consequences. With that much power, there is a larger onus for truth, and to be so careless is reprehensible.
I respect all beliefs, including those that are different than mine, as long as they do not invoke violence and hatred. That is where I draw the line. It is naive to think that both Israel and the Palestinians aren’t culpable of wrongdoings in the conflict’s long history. But the past cannot be changed, so where do we go from here? How do we make progress?
I am sad to be raising my children during these times. For the first time in My life, I am Scared over the state of the world. I have two options. I can lose hope. Or I can do my best to affect change, which is why I am speaking up.
In the past 16 months, I’ve had so many hard conversations with my kids, it is weighing heavily on my heart. I’ve had to explain a worldwide pandemic that caused us to essentially flee from our home. I’ve had to explain the killing of George Floyd, violent riots in the streets of NYC (I am not referring to the peaceful protests), Asian hatred, rockets in Israel and a new wave of worldwide anti-semitism. I’ve had to move them to a new city for my mental health. Everything is divided. Politics are corrupt.
With a heavy heart, I ask, how does the world get better from here? Since many of my followers are Jewish, I specifically am asking the Jewishness communities – how do WE do better, how do we improve our own communities, so that we can lead by example?
The change must start from within. We have the weight of the world against. We need to start by getting rid of our own divisions. We are so few, we need to create more unity and support of one another within the community itself. Our community is not perfect – no community is. But we should always strive to do better, and improve our weaknesses. There is no shame in acknowledging our imperfections for the sake of growth. We are the underdog in regards to popular opinion, and if we want to win, we must be a people that leads by example. We must work extra hard to show the world that we are good. That we do good. That we are a people who preach education, loving kindness (גמילות חסדים), work ethic, compassion, tolerance, and respect for all beliefs, as long as they are peaceful. We need to stop judging those who share different beliefs. We need to be forgiving. We need to stop gossiping about others. It all starts with us working on ourselves, because that is all we can control.
Our community needs to stop trying to fit everyone into a specific mold. I can speak it because I experience it every day. I get called crazy because I am outspoken and open. Our schools need to have better programs for kids who have behavioral problems and learning disabilities, and kids who do not fit the mold. What we need to promote is self love and self confidence. Being different should be celebrated. We need to start doing better with this.
And outside the community, to my friends who have been silent when they wanted to hear me stand up for the black and LGBTQ communities. Where are your voices now, when my people are being attacked? Or do you not care about the violence happening to Jews around the world because its not the trendy opinion? Because if you actually educated yourself as you implored me to educate myself about white privilege, you would not be regurgitating these uneducated posts by irresponsible celebrities that have just created the largest wave of antisemitism I’ve ever seen in my life. If you so much as said the slightest mis-word about the Black Lives Matter movement, you got obliterated. But Pro Palestinian rallies screaming death to the Jews, rape our daughters in the streets of London – these protests are getting celebrated? Where is the support, because the silence is deafening. You wanted white privilege education? Well it’s time you educate yourself on antisemitism. It’s time to educate yourself about the Arab-Israeli conflict for real, instead of posting inaccurate reposts that fuel hatred and don’t help either party. And if you’re not going to educate yourself, then at the very least don’t post anything at all.
I wish I had an answer other than – we must educate our children to be tolerant of other peoples beliefs. Teach your children to be kind. Teach them to love hard. Even teach them to wish love to their enemies. Teach them to heal. Have hard conversations with your children. It is the only way they can learn. And listen. Listen to the other side. Understand that a middle ground means both sides must compromise.
Now, let’s talk money. As we all know, whether you like it or not, money is power. As a consumer, MONEY TALKS. When we are shopping, we are often not thinking about what a brand represents from a social perspective, but is time we start. Who are you buying from? What do they stand for? Be conscientious where you spend your time and your dollars. Are you following accounts of socially responsible people? Are you spending your money with socially responsible brands? That doesn’t mean you have to agree with all their political beliefs. Just that they are respectful of all, spreading and fueling love and not hate. Put in power the thought leaders who are spreading the messages you believe in.
To All the Jewish influencers who remained silent during this this time. Shame on you. Who cares if it jeopardizes business and it’s not the trendy position. We need you now more than ever. But – to the Jewish community – if you want to keep seeing jewish thought leaders stand up for our causes, you need to support our brands with money, not just with follows and words. Money is power and we cannot survive without your support, especially in a time when we are alienating business because our stance is not popular. It is a conversation I’ve had with many of my friends who do not feel the financial support from the community, and I can’t quite understand why. And in months from now when god willing this has died down and this is no longer the hot topic, don’t let your memory fail you. Remember which brands and celebrities took an active stance in the wrong direction.
The other day, I filmed videos for my members only program. The lineup for the day: abandonment, divorce, sexual assault, rape, miscarriage, bullying, death, trauma. People are going to ask – why have I chosen to share these things? People are going to say, this is highly inappropriate. Why am I airing my dirty laundry? Our laundry is only dirty if you let it remain dirty. I have chosen to heal. I am not embarrassed by hard things I experienced or things I’ve done wrong. They have made me into the strong woman I am today. I do my best to spread love, positivity, and good vibes into the universe. But with all the hard things I endured, I am only able to do so because I have put hard work into healing wounds from my past.
Everyone in the world right now needs to work on healing. The world is going through some dark times, and none of us are unscathed. We need to heal our wounds, before they turn into ugly scars. We need to promote an environment for one another in which it is safe to do so, without fear of ridicule and judgment. We need to have more compassion.
I will continue to pray for peace and I will continue to teach my children to always try and be better.