rebbe gelt
BY moshe David ben Peretz Meir hacohen 

March 29, 2020, Israel

We are going through difficult times, some are prepared, and some are not. Growing up I heard this expression often, Rebbe Gelt, it was Yiddish, I came to understand that it meant, Tough luck kid, now you learned a valuable lesson. You made a mistake, there is no way to undo this, you will have to pay the price, you will have to feel the sting, the pain, but don't complain about it! this is rebbe gelt, this is the school of Hard Knocks, this is life, you live and learn, and you pay for your mistakes.

Some might think this is harsh, but is not. It is a valuable education. Now I understand the source of the expression, Rebbe is teacher, Gelt is money, this is the fee you must pay your teacher for this painful lesson. Yes, you must pay your teacher, the lessons are not free. Your teacher is life!

We have been hit by a crisis, it is not our fault, it came from China, yes, I am not being politically correct, it came from China and I see it as a punishment for mankind for ignoring the mistreatment of animals. No, I am not a Middle Ages Fundamentalist, I am a Jew and we are taught the world was created in such a way that when we do wrong, there are natural consequences. It is not a "punishment" per say, it is the result of our behavior. When we do not prepare for a test, and then we fail, we have not been punished, we have just suffered the consequences of our behavior. When we enter a fight but we have not trained, we will receive a punishment from our better prepared opponent, but this is not a "Punishment" it is simply the consequences of our own behavior.

We have been hit with a health crisis which has led to an economic crisis. The first thing I did is inform those who need me that...your godfather is here for you; your uncle is here for you. You will be OK, you are safe, you are in good hands. You will be able to make your payments, do not fear anything.

I am prepared because that is the example my father set for me. Put aside for a rainy day. You earned some money, put some aside. I have been accused of being frugal, harsh on myself. I am prepared. At this point my income has pretty muchcome to an end; all training - cancelled, seminars - cancelled or postponed, on-line sales - practically non existent, but I am still able to help others. I learned to put aside for a rainy day and now it is pouring.

A few years ago, I was not prepared for an attack on my home. Arabs broke into my home on a Friday night, when they heard me entering, they fled, but not before stealing all the money from seminars from all over the world, in foreign currency plus many personal valuables including my grandfather's gold watch. All gone. I was not prepared; I had not been willing to pay the price for protection. I had not invested in home protection, I did not pay for light sensors, cameras, barbed wire, gates, metal bars on the windows, reinforced double locks etc.  They broke in. I recuperated, I rebuilt and I paid the price, twice. Not only that I lost a fortune but now I paid for those metal bars, reinforced locks, barbed wire etc. Rebbe gelt, learning money, pay the teacher.

We make mistakes, we pay for them. 

Now to Krav Maga. My dad said one day, Son, you will have to learn to fight your own battles, and I did. He taught me rebbe gelt, you pay for all your life lessons, and you pay ON TIME. My dad would call up the newspaper to remind them that his subscription dues were due, every bill was paid on time, I saw this. I saw how he made sure to go to the post office and carefully insert the envelope with the check, that it should not fall by the side.  You pay, and you pay on one wants to hear your story of woe and sorry.  

These are tough times, but we are prepared. Tough times never last, though people do. I come from a family that struggled to make a living for several generations, the family came to the United States as refugees from Poland. Max Katz worked as a tailor, Moe Katz worked hard selling cloth, Mina Katz sold dresses, the family was always provided for; we hang in there, resiliently. 

Krav Maga is about being prepared for the bad times. In a classic children's story, during the sunny times the monkeys play, each winter as it rains, they vow that a soon as it the rain stops, they will get to work on building shelter; but when the sun returns, the monkeys go back to playing. We are the same, and that is why it is used as a children's' story, so that we should learn.  

Times are getting tough, who knows what will be tomorrow, crime is a constant, during good times and even more so during bad times. The time to start training was yesterday. When the criminal enters your home with a rifle, that is not the time to sign up for self-defense lesson, when the knife is at your daughter's throat, again, this is not the time to cry, "Do Over, I need time to train her". The time has passed, you will pay the price, your teacher is life and this is the school of hard knocks and truth. 

Don't miss the opportunity. Prepare!  

I signed this blog with my Hebrew name, for this is a lesson from my father. I am Moshe David son of Rabbi Peretz Meir the Cohen, and these are my father's lessons. 

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