Passaic Clifton Self Defense Gemach
Interesting dynamic. In Israel when I promote gun ownership I have faced the challenge..."Don't try to turn Israel into America", and in Passaic/Clifton I have faced "Don't try to New Jersey into Israel". It seems that when one speaks in real terms, the type that is loudly uncomfortable, the knee jerk reaction is to find fault with the messenger. Do you only accept truth from G-d, his angel or specific emissary you have prelabeled?
What if I told you that a 7 year old Jewish boy on his grandfather's porch in Queens was slammed on his head to the concrete by a homeless man and was listed in critical condition last week? What if I told you many of you probably know his grandfather, Rabbi Naftali Portnoy?
Google it, it's all over the news. Here is just one link to the new reality we all need to face.
Does that change your perspective on gun ownership? Could legal carrying on your premises protect your child from such an incident? The answer is yes.
There are a lot of issues that one could raise denying the need. The difference is in Israel people challenge my assumptions in order to continue the dream world they live in. In Passaic Clifton so few even care that it is rare to even have a response. I hope that our approach changes. The result is so few have the tools to understand and even more cannot overcome the inertia for change.
I thought about the reasons why in Passaic Clifton so few seem to even care about the fate of other Jews. Part of it that the USA we grew up in is very different than it is today. Not all are interested in their environment per se, so once change has taken place, they are oblivious. Until they see change personally, their picture of the nation and community they grew up with is fixed. A dangerous modus operandi in my opinion, to deny reality and the winds of change. Anyone who went to college in the 90's realizes that college campuses today and the 90'S are totally different. Open anti semites rage about campus via anti Israel protests. Jews are bullied and are increasingly burying any open Jewish expression or pro Israel sentiment. The anti semites have won in the intellectual sphere, and have infested the Ivy League univerities as much as the community ones. Once the anti semites have pentetrated the campuses, it is only a matter of time before the next generation of Senators Congressman, Governors, Mayors and President will be hostile, not just to Israel but to home grown American Jews. With the future of the American Jew as nil as we see it, and gun violence in America taking epic amounts of human life, and Jewish life, it seems clear the logical step would be to counterarm while preparing long term for aliyah.
The problem is, logic can not Trump (pun intended) feelings. So long as you feel safe, nothing I can write here will change your mind. It's only tragedy that shakes Jews to the core, and many after that "still don't understand". I realize we have a number of factors in the negative here. One we are Tzon Kedoshim, Holy Sheep. When is the last time you saw a sheep with a deceased bear in its jaws that it just got tired of being bullied from? It's just not the nature of the sheep to be "excessively violent". Well, being sheep does not work well when you live wolves. Next, our religious or even non religious training, be a law abiding pacifist. Violence is a non Jewish trait, don't make waves, keep your head low. Do not ANTAGONIZE goyim. Trust me our existence here antagonizes them, so of you really want to follow that advice move to Israel now. Otherwise if you stay here, understand that anti semitism is deeper than Eisav hates Yaakov. It's that our presence here, negates the rebuilding of our land, the 3rd Bayis and is a desecration of G-d and his Torah. Wow.....ever hear that before? See Radak on Yechezkiel 36:20 and Rashi top of Gemara Brachos 57A. More on that later. So we are born and bred on pacifism. Now what?
I have to appeal to the Jewish heart. One problem, that too has been compromised. Can't seem to express a deep love of the Jewish people who never experienced love. It's a foreign language they do not speak. So getting armed as an expression of loving another Jew is too difficult for those who cannot feel the pain of another Jew unless it hits them personally. Even then, as mentioned we lack the tools to understand the proper reaction.
Self defense, being armed specifically is all about loving another Jew. If you can't relate to that, can you love yourself? Are you worth protecting? So it could take both logic (security situation in USA has drastically changed and it's time to get armed) and a heart (no one should ever be unprepared and have an anti semite smash their child to the ground) and some solid Torah to back it up (anyone who wants can review the Torah of self defense Part I and II or email the Gemach about the great mitzvah of saving Jewish life). Maybe with all three we can break through the apathy, naivety and reach those whose barriers are firmy in place in time for their kvittel to rise to shamayim.
What greater way to merit life than to understand its value on the highest level? Gun owners value life, and they protect others and themselves. How great is their lot, let their merits guard us through these changing times.
With great love of Israel