embarrassing questions
by Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

November 8, 2018, Israel 

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Moshe training the police force in Slovakia

I attended a wedding last night, a happy occasion, but even in happiness I can never forget. I can never forget the wars, the terrorist attacks, the tragedies of daily life.

I saw my dear nephew and I thought how different this evening might have been, God forbid.

He was recently involved in a terrorist attack, he fought back and survived, the scars are still there on his face and body, a visual reminder of a brutal attack with deadly intent.  

I cannot forget. 

I saw some old friends and relatives, of course everyone asks, "How are you?",  "How are you doing".

And I answer, "I have a group here from all over the world, a wonderful group from South Africa, Norway, USA, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom". And they ask, "How many Israelis? How many locals?".  

I answer, very few. Very few Israelis attend classes, very few Jews from around the world join our programs.

And people ask me, Why? Why do I have so few students from Israel and from my own people, the Jewish people?  

It is a good question, it reminds me of another good question back in the 12th century. When the king of Khazar asks the rabbi, Why is it that so few of the exiled Jews make an attempt to return to the land of our ancestors, the holy land, the land of Israel, the rabbi answers, "You have uncovered my source of shame King of Khazar", Meaning, you have hit a sour point, an embracing question, and I have no answer. 

And so I answer my fellow wedding guests sarcastically, and yes, I know, it is a happy occasion.

I answer, "Well you know, we the Jewish people, we the people of Israel, are at no risk, thankfully no one is trying to hurt us, and violence against Jews and citizens of Israel is practically unheard of."

I get that stupid perplexed look. 

They look at me as if I've lost my mind, or perhaps they misheard me.  

I say, "Otherwise what would be the reason why our people do not come to learn Krav Mag? My students travel from South America, from Brazil, from Australia and New Zealand, from the USA, but people from two houses away cannot make the effort. There can only be one reason: We do no suffer from the threat of violence."  

Yes, sarcasm. Bitter sarcasm. Painful sarcasm. And then I ask an embracing question: "You ask why others don't train. You ask why my students are mostly foreigners, well, what about you?  Why do you not train? Is it too expensive? Do you not have the time? After all you know about the constant, unending war against the Jews, the daily terrorist attacks, you know it!" 

And yes, it is an embarrassing question. And the truth is the question applies to all of us, all people, all ethnic groups. Why are we not training? Have we decided to tune out the violence? Have we forgotten the pain?

I cannot forget.

I look at the scars on my nephews' face, and I cannot forget.

I think of what might have happened and I cannot forget.

I look at all the happy people dancing and I wonder, who will be next and why is no one doing anything about it. And yes, it is an embarrassing question. Perhaps I am, as Arnold Schwarzenegger said, "The Party Pooper". I am the one to say the brutal naked truth.

I am the Party Pooper. Party Pooper and Proud.

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