March 30, 2018, Israel
Nice Jewish girls don't protest, they protect.
Israeli soldier visiting Birkenau death camp where unarmed Jews were murdered.
The hour is past midnight,
There is a fierce debate going on these days about guns; should they be banned? Should we train people how to use them?
I have to laugh. The issue has been decided long ago. Silly people, the answer is in the Bible and was written thousands of years ago and there is nothing whatsoever to add to that discussion.
We strive for a world of peace, the ideal, but we prepare for a world of violence, the real world.
Yes, all our laws, all the words of the prophets, are about building a world of peace, kindness and generosity. But we are warned that we must prepare for violence, as Golda Meir pointed out centuries later in reference to a very naive Jewish man by the name of Henry Kissinger, He is a perfect gentleman, but his problem is that he believes the world is made of a similarly perfect gentlemen.
It is not. The world can be very cruel.
It is best to discover this before the Cossacks enter your village and hack your people to death. It is best to understand this before they rape and murder your wife and daughters in front of your eyes. It is best to discover this before they round you up in the barn and set it on fire. As the Bible says one who comes to kill you, wake up early and kill him first. And this is the book of peace.
The ideal; we train for it every day, we study our Torah, we pour over the pages of our Talmud and we study the words of our holy rabbis. And then we take a break and we prepare for war.
We train to shoot, we train in Krav Maga, we develop hi tech weapons, as we are commanded by God to do.
Our greatest leaders have always combined spiritual pursuits with military training. We do not have men like the Dali Lama or Mahatma Gandi, we have men like Joshua, Samson and women like Deborah and Yael: Warriors. because we live in the real world.
It is the eve of Passover, and all is still. And I recall that on this night Jews arose and prepared to fight back, it was Warsaw 1943. Protests to the world did not help. No one was listening. The great Polish diplomat Jan Karski met with all the great world leaders but none would listen. So on the night before Passover in the Warsaw Ghetto a small band of Brothers and Sisters arose, And they had Guns!
"To teach the children of Judah the use of the bow, behold it is written in the book Yashar." (Book of Samuel 2, chapter 1, verse 18)
Protests? The march of the rabbis; October 6, 1943, the rabbis of America marched on the White House and demanded action but president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, himself of Jewish descent, quietly escaped from the back door. He refused to meet with them.
Protest? Abba Kovner took his gun and formed the Avengers and went around killing Nazis, Zus and Tuvia Bielski took guns and headed to the forest, and on the night before Passover Mordechai Anielewicz and Pavel Frankl took on the Nazi war machine and sent the Germans running for their lives.
And the hour is past midnight.
This is the slingshot of young David, this is the Jawbone used by Samson, this is the sword of Judah the Maccabbe and this is the gun in your hands. Use it correctly and wisely.
You cannot demand respect, you can only earn it. You cannot demand an end to violence you can only secure it by learning to defend yourself.
As a child I dreamed I entered a time tunnel, a time machine and I met with the Jews of the Ghettos and I brought them food and medicine but also guns, big guns!
And when the Nazis came and took away children from their mothers, and pulled rabbis away from their holy books, in my dreams men and women stood up with their guns and fought back!
If only we had more guns.
Guns save lives in the hands of the right people.
The Torah teaches us clearly, with each you must deal in accordance with his own way. With a scholar you can debate, with a kind man you can reason but with a killer you must be better armed and better prepared, to protect all that is good and holy and decent.
It is long past midnight, and the holiday of Freedom, Passover, is approaching, and I see my father of blessed memory, and I see General Shimon Bar Cochba leading the revolt against Rome and I see young Mordechai and Pavel in Warsaw with no fear in their eyes as they prepare to fight for freedom. Do not ask others for freedom, do not beg for your life, fight for it.
And a young girl does not protest, she takes her home made molotov cocktail and she runs towards the Nazi tank to throw it into the tank, but sadly she is shot dead with the explosive still in her hands. And young girls who should be in school studying follow her and continue the struggle.
And on Passover night we remember them and we honor them.
And I am standing in Warsaw and I hear the sounds of Jewish teens singing, and I follow the voices and I find Jews from all over the world at Mila 18 in Warsaw, Poland, and they are honoring the memory of those who fought back, of those who took guns in their arms and fought to the death.
And from the ashes of these warriors our freedom has come. From their sacrifice we have arisen again, and we take the gun in our hands and say we shall not fail them, we shall honor their memory.
In an ideal world there is no place for guns but in the real world there is no place for those without guns. We learned our lessons the hard way, but the answers have been there all along, in the book of books, and so it is written and so it shall be done.
The debate is over.
The true history of the Jewish people as a fighting nation and the Biblical directives about fighting.
The history of Biblical fighting, weapons and strategy, the Hebrew warrior spirit from ancient to modern times.
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