Jackie Mason made a joke recently that there are three things we can always count on: death, taxes, and antisemitism. While I consider Jackie Mason a very funny guy, that was not a joke; it was 100 percent true, and it brought a few questions to mind – profoundly serious and basic questions that I don’t want you to brush off: Yes, antisemitism 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 – and I don’t blame them! How are they supposed to know that a shooter just entered a shul or yeshivah? These heroes will come racing to the scene only when someone calls 911 – which in 99 percent of the cases is too late to stop an attack. It’s true that once they are on the 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, but they do not prevent anything before the deed has been done. So, what can we do? Antisemitism 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 antisemite 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 or 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 four 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 yeshivah, 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 three 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 antisemites 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, yeshivos, mikvaos, and social gatherings.
By the way, I made the analogy to Hatzalah for two reasons. Just as Hatzalah works with local EMTs 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 as when calling Hatzalah, call these tough Jews when needed. With Hashem’s help, they will respond in lighting speed, teach the antisemites a lesson, and make the words of Megillas 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).
Am Yisrael Chai!