Krav Maga and Zionism
I am a Zionist. My dear late dad Rabbi Paul Katz, was a passionate Zionist and so was his dad before him, my grandfather whom I never met but was named for,
What is a Zionist? Zion is Jerusalem, the center of Israel. Zion represents Israel.
Four thousand years ago Israel developed as a nation here in Zion. Here lived our patriarchs and here our identity was formed. Our patriarchs are buried here but it is difficult for most people to visit them because the grave is surrounded by hostile enemies who seek to harm us.
From the very beginning our nation faced challenges. Many nations tried to dispossess us and drive us from our land. Most of those nations are now in the dust bins of history.
Although we were never entirely dispossessed, Jews have inhabited this land continuously for thousands of years, there was a long period of time when the majority of our people were forced to live in exile.
Even in exile our lives revolved around Zion; morning, afternoon and evening our prayers spoke of our longing to return to Zion. When a Jew married, on the happiest day of his life, he smashed a class in memory of the destruction of Zion. And when he died, if he could arrange it, he was buried with a little earth from Zion with the hope that God will deliver his body to Zion.
Zionism is the Jewish people's national liberation movement.
Zionism is our desire to live free from prejudice and fear in our land.
In our exile brave leaders arose to lead us back to our homeland.
Ze'ev (Vladimir) Jabotinsky
, one of the great Zionist leaders, urged Jews to "learn to shoot". He founded the Hagana, the first self defense movement in modern Israel, and
, the Zionist youth movement.
Sadly, we are still struggling and are surrounded by enemies.
Krav Maga may be a modern form of self defense but its spiritual roots go back thousands of years, to the earliest Biblical times.
Just as Zionism is the modern political expression of our age old dream of liberty, Krav Maga is the modern expression of our age old struggle for survival. In fact Krav Maga is Zionism; their histories are one and the same, they are merely two facets of the same struggle.
ZOA - Zionist Organization of America
One of the fine organizations I am proud to work with is the Zionist Organization of America, (ZOA) they have been active on behalf of Israel since 1896.
Trips to Israel
There are many ways to get to Israel. For some idea - take a look..
Does a Gunman Cry?
I am writing these words as we approach the third night of Chanuka; the Festival of Lights, a time of miracles for our forefathers. I was told that during the lighting of the three candles we should think of our three boys still in captivity; Ehud, Eldad, and Gilad. We went to war for them, we sacrificed 119 lives, but still they are not with us. They are far from home during this joyous holiday; they are far from their loved ones who cannot enjoy the holiday without them. We have tried every possible way to free them but our enemies have not agreed to talk. We have no word from them; we wait, hope, and pray.
What kind of cruel and inhuman people can treat other human beings this way? What kind of creatures can possibly behave in such a manner? Truly we are at war with a cruel and vicious enemy.
The world paints us as an "Apartheid State"; they say "Zionism equal Racism". What utter nonsensical lies. We extend our hand in peace, we send search and rescue teams around the world to help people, we send doctors all over creation without regard for race, religion or color. But our enemies are of the lowest, most vile, of God's creatures.
I am very please that during my travels in America I have discovered that we have many friends among
, some of whom train in Krav Maga.
When I train in krav maga, when I teach, I think of these boys and others like them. A great karate master used to say, "Always see your enemy in front of you." (Gichin Funakoshi). Indeed when we train we should think of our vicious enemies and know that we must be able to defend ourselves. Let every man, woman and child, every parent, think of their loved ones when they train. Train hard so that you should never ever fall into their hands. May all our boys come home soon and may we see a true peace in our time.