(By Rabbi Pesach Wolicki) Growing up in Canada in the 1970s and 1980s, my most profound memories are of Jewish collective identity. The Holocaust remembrance events and rallies on behalf of Soviet Jewry that my brothers and I attended with my parents and community instilled in us the most basic axiom of our identity as Jews when facing anti-Semitism. An attack on one Jew is an attack on all Jews. As I write this statement I am struck by how trite it seems. That the discriminatory targeting of any individual based on religious or ethnic group is an attack on the entire group is obvious. Negative as it may be, there is

scarcely a better indication of identification with a group than feeling the sting when another member is attacked. The logic behind this sentiment is simple. When any Jew is attacked for being Jewish every one of us knows full well that “If I was there it could have been—would have been—me.” It would have been me because the victim was attacked not as an individual but as a representative of all Jews. The Jewish people were attacked. Of course, this is not unique to Jews. Whenever someone else who shares my identity or beliefs is attacked and I can honestly say that had I been there it would have been me, I am the victim as well. This is the litmus test of collective victim-hood. CONTINUE