This is what the shooter was targeting: not individuals but the very elements that bind those individuals together—a sense of spirituality, a place of worship, and centuries of tradition. He was targeting the seamlessness with which the Jewish community has fit into America’s social fabric. He wanted that younger me to not be so flippant about anti-Semitism, to not feel so removed from the atrocities that had accompanied Jews elsewhere.
And, to a degree, I’m afraid he has succeeded. I will raise my son Jewish. And though I admit to feeling conflicted in the current moment, I know that I will do so proudly because to do otherwise is to allow this monster to determine our people’s collective identity.