Michael Douglas wrote an Op-Ed piece for the LA Times and visited the Today Show to discuss faith and anti-Semitism.
Celebrity A-listers are used to being hounded in the streets and being attacked online by trolls. Some celebrities take it on the chin and accept it as part of being famous. Others respond by addressing confrontation straight on, which often makes for interesting news as they act out at paparazzi, or engage in vicious online arguments.
However, the families of the rich and famous aren’t so used to being in the limelight and often don’t know how to deal with this kind of obtrusive, unwanted attention. This was certainly the case for Michael Douglas’ teenage son, Dylan, who was recently the victim of an anti-Semitic rant from a complete stranger while on a summer vacation in Europe.
Dylan was targeted as he was still wearing a Star of David from his recent bar mitzvah in Jerusalem. He ran crying to his father who then confronted the man. The stranger didn’t have much of a reason behind his actions, apart from there being too many people in the world and there being a need for rules and regulations. Sometimes there’s no chance of introducing a different perspective to those with extreme beliefs, and Michael had to deliver this life lesson to his son: “Well, Dylan, you’ve just had your first taste of anti-Semitism.”
Dylan had only recently discovered his faith after being introduced to it by a couple of friends at school. Six months after spending time in their company, he was convinced that practicing Judaism was the right path for him and he broke the news to his father by exclaiming “I want to have a bar mitzvah.” Michael Douglas was touched, as was his father who is Jewish.
Douglas considers himself to be a Reform Jew and accredits his son to bringing religion back into his life: “he’s brought a lot of spirituality to our lives.” Since then, the star has found his calling and been actively involved with the Jewish community. He was even awarded the 2015 Genesis Prize of $1 million, which he plans to donate to raising awareness about inclusion and diversity within the Jewish community, as well as solving larger social issues.