By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

December 24, 2014, Israel

Disrespect. It is the source of all crime. All violence.

What are the statistics? We do not need to recite them, a break-in every few seconds in the USA, one of four women in college will be raped, a violent crime every 14 seconds in the USA.  We can go on and on. The exact numbers are not the issue. It is the impact; On us as individuals and on society.

Recently my home was broken into. Our IKI members around the world have responded with care and support. Many have told me their stories, how they were robbed, how their homes were broken into. I had no idea. It seems everyone has a story. This is an appalling situation that cannot continue.

For us, decent law abiding citizens, it is difficult to imagine what causes such behavior. Some say it is poverty but I do not accept that theory.

I have known many poor people and none of them have resorted to crime.  There are Ultra Orthodox neighborhoods in Jerusalem and elsewhere where many many people live in poverty. They have large families and limited income as most of their time is devoted to prayer and religious studies. And yet we never hear about crime from them. No one runs away when they see an Orthodox Jew. At worst they may pester you for a donation to their synagogue, nothing more.

The same is true for many other communities.

I know that when my grandparents generation arrived in America, penniless, they did not resort to crime, with a few notable exceptions (not in my family though). Most of the immigrants struggled and work hard, learned the language and built a career or a business. (which are now targeted by "unfortunate minorities" who lack the will power to create, only to destroy.)

So why the difference? Why the crime?

It is the values we are raised with.

When I was in fourth grade I was introduced to the study of the Talmud, as is the tradition amongst our people going back two thousand years or more.

The first tractate we learn is Bava Mitziyah, the Aramaic term meaning "The Middle Gate". The first section we learn is about two men disputing the ownership of a garment. Each one says it belongs to him.

The discussion among the ancient rabbis goes on for quite a few pages. Every aspect of the case is analyzed in depth. And the question is why is this section the first one chosen to be introduce young kids to the Talmud.

It is not the first section of the Talmud. The reason is simple: Young people need to learn early on that ownership of property is a very important concept.

They need to learn early in life to respect what belongs to others, to understand boundaries. As it was explained to me, when you spend hours each day discussing and disputing the fine points of ownership, of how to announce a lost object that you found, of to settle whom this actually belongs to- you grow up respecting other people's property. This will prevent you for taking that which does not belong to you. It will not even enter your mind.

When this respect is not instilled in young people early on lawless will prevail. Some groups seem to stress a feeling of "entitlement", i.e. we are the have nots and therefore we are entitled to a share of what belong to those who have worked hard. If this means breaking into their homes, so be it. No respect.

There is no justification for this behavior.

So much for the cause, lack of respect. That must be taken care of by parents, teachers, society at large. But we still must protect ourselves.

We must study the field of home security, car security, parking lot security and how to defend ourselves. 

That is where we come into the picture. Our specialty is Krav Maga. So lets' do what we do best. Educate the young, and fight back against crime.

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