Jackie Mason made a joke recently that there are 3 things we can always count on: Death, Taxes and Anti-Semitism. While I consider Jackie Mason a very funny guy, that was not a joke… it was 100% true, and it brought a few questions to mind. Profoundly serious and basic questions that I don’t want you to brush off: Yes, anti-Semitism is on the rise… so what are you doing about it? And… how are you going to defend yourself, your family and your property?
Let me get right to the point. If you are waiting for politicians to save you… you are in big trouble. Allow me to take that even one step further; If you are waiting for the police to save you… you are also in trouble. The police are good, serious, brave, well-meaning people but they cannot be everywhere. They generally are in the response business not the prevention business which means they jump into action after shots have been fired… not before… and I don’t blame them! How are they supposed to know that a shooter just entered a shul or Yeshiva? These heroes will come racing to the scene only when someone calls 911 – which in 99% of the cases is too late to stop an attack. It’s true that once they are on scene, they can save lives and stop the situation from getting worse – and we are indebted to them for that – but very often, they are far too late to help the initial victims.
How about security cameras? Same thing… they help only after things are over. I agree that these cameras are important because they assist in tracking and catching the criminals etc… but they do not prevent anything before the deed has been done. So, what can we do? Anti-Semitism is on the rise across the world and, while the ultimate answer is Aliyah, we need to find something concrete now. Well, you’re in luck… I have the answer.
Throughout history, Jews were easy prey for the anti-Semite because of our reputation as being merciful and kind people. The world knew how we treasured chesed, charity and helping one another. We were – and still are – famous for tolerance, acceptance and loving our neighbor. Therefore, it was simple for the Jew hater to carry out violence against our people. We are not fighters nor warriors. We simply said “kaddish”, fixed the broken windows and kept smiling. If that describes your Judaism, save yourself time and stop reading this article because I never felt that this is what HaShem wanted back then, and I certainly don’t feel He wants it now.
Yes, we love each other and do more to help the poor, the widow and the stranger than anyone on the planet but that does not mean we turn the other cheek… those 4 words are from the other guys. When necessary, we attack, hit hard and defend Jewish lives and property with everything at our disposal. Allow me to state this differently; We have all heard of the Jewish head – the Yiddishe Kup - and we are truly proud of that but my Rabbi taught me that in order for that Jewish head to be complete, it must be attached to a Jewish fist! Rabbi Meir Kahane, of blessed memory, used to say that in the Yeshiva, we need to be “The People of the Book” and on the street – when dealing with anti-Semites – we need to be “The People of the Weapon and the Fist”. Yes, my friends, we need both.
Therefore, in addition to studying Daf Yomi and attending shul 3 times a day, make sure you spend an equal amount of time learning how to shoot a gun and how to punch with force. Do everything you can to get a legal firearm and make sure the anti-Semites know you will not hesitate to use it. Enroll your kids in little league and also karate… and make sure this includes your daughters as well! Organize volunteers for Hatzalah but also for a neighborhood patrol that guards Jewish homes, businesses, shuls, Yeshivas, mikvehs and social gatherings. By the way, I made the analogy to Hatzalah for 2 reasons. Just like Hatzalah works with local EMT’s and hospitals, the “Never Again Patrol” should coordinate efforts with the local police. But the second reason is even more important. We all know why Hatzalah was started and how many Jewish lives have been saved when we handle these matters ourselves. The same must be true in the world of Jewish security. Do not raise money to hire an outside company or off-duty cops to stand in the lobby of the shul or drive a car with some weird yellow light… do it yourselves! Every one of those Hatzalah guys spent hundreds of hours training and getting ready and if that is true to save a Jew from a heart attack then it’s equally as true to save a Jew from a gang attack.
After the “Never Again Patrol” is formed, post the number in every house and, just like when calling Hatzalah, call these tough Jews when needed. By the way, this idea is not limited just to Jewish communities outside Israel but must be done within Israel as well! The latest round of riots in Lod, Ramle, Yaffo, Akko and Jerusalem taught us that, with all due respect to the Israeli police and IDF, they cannot be relied upon to respond quickly in these situations. These communities must organize their own self-defense teams who are ready, willing and able to spring into action as soon as a problem arises. Let’s not fool ourselves… the quiet we have now is simply “the calm before the storm”. Riots will once again erupt in Lod and Akko (and the other places mentioned) so let’s be prepared with a strong response.
With HaShem’s help, these tough Jews will respond in lighting speed, teach the anti-Semites a lesson and make the words of Megillat Esther come true, once again; “The Jews organized themselves in their cities… to send forth their hand against those who sought their hurt, and no man could stand before them, for fear of them had fallen upon the people” (9:2 – Stone edition)