From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

'Jew Pond' just history?

(Medieval Burning of the Jews)
Today - September 11 – many will be giving thanks for the joys still present in their lives and expressing forgiveness for those that
have been hatefully destroyed.  Others might already look upon 9/11 as "just history."

This latter group is in danger of joining the ranks of those who are doomed to repeat history's most stringent lessons.  After all is said and done, we remember historical events so that we will not have
to spend our current lives recreating them.

To minimize the importance of history (or worse yet, to deny its occurrence) is to remain trapped within its most sordid undercurrents.  An example of this might be found within a small town in southern New Hampshire.  This town, Mont Vernon, is
currently making news due to a controversy surrounding the naming of an otherwise "unremarkable" pond.

Back in the 1920s, Mont Vernon residents had dubbed this small body of water "Jew Pond" because "two Jewish businessmen from Boston" had bought a hotel there.  According to NBC News, their motive was "to reopen the hotel for Jewish guests, who had been banned from the hotel – and from most hotels in New Hampshire" at the time. (Apparently, the former hotel had a brochure that outright stated: Applications from Hebrews not desired.)

Given this history, the term "Jew Pond" was not just an affectionate nickname, but rather a religious slur (similar to "Jew lawyer" or "Jew politician."  Therefore, to state (as one member of the Mont Vernon Historical Society recently did) that this term is "just history" is to deny the reality of history's impact on us all.


Copyright September 11, 2012 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved 

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