April 18, 2020
The Nation of Israel is a very small nation. And yet we are very well know worldwide. We are in the news more that most. When you consider how small we are in relation to the rest of the world it is truly remarkable how often we "make the News". It seems like Jews make News out of all proportion to our meager numbers.
We also make an impact in terms of our contributions to science and technology. Many of the hi tech, communications, and medical innovations come from our tiny little country, our tiny nation. You might call us the classic under dog over achiever. It is difficult to find a medical device, a technological improvement, a pharmaceutical innovation, without some connection to Israel. We are also known for our achievements in the fields of combat and self defense. While this does make sense, there is also a certain paradox. This military combative prowess makes sense in that we have no choice, fight or perish, and yet it is also against our nature, thus the paradox.
We have a strong Biblical and post Biblical tradition of combat. I have in fact written an entire book about this, I believe the first of its kind, "Israel, A Nation of Warriors", a book which achieved the honor of being recognized by the Israeli government and assigned an official Library of Congress number. Truly an honor. Yet, we are reluctant warriors. Unlike Sparta or Rome we do not fight for the sake of fighting. Winning a war is not a criteria for being chosen as king, emperor or leader. In fact it is the opposite. King David, a great warrior king was told by God that he cannot build the temple in Jerusalem because he had too much blood on his hands, even though every battle he fought was justified and sanctioned. We recognize the need for war, for combat and for training, we pray for peace but prepare for war. This is a constant Biblical theme and remains our culture to this very day.
Israel is the name give to the Patriarch Jacob, and Jacob who was chosen to be the father of the nation of Israel is described as a dweller of tents, a peaceful man, a spiritual man.
“When the boys grew up, it came to pass that Esau was a man who understood hunting, a man of the field, and Jacob was a guileless man dwelling in tents. Isaac loved Esau, for he was a hunter for his mouth, but Rebecca loved Jacob.” (Genesis chapter 25, verse 27-8)
And now, in our days, there are Israeli martial arts being practiced all over the globe. In nearly every country you see Israeli martial arts associations and from all over the world serious martial artists come to Israel to train in Krav Maga and related arts. While the Bible says From Zion shall come forth the Torah/Bible and the word of God from Jerusalem, today we also have from Zion shall come forth Krav Maga, and the word of combat, anti terrorism, from Jerusalem.
And it is truly remarkable.
There are countries that are about a zillion times larger than us; Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Canada, etc, but you do not see their martial arts spreading all over the globe. Great warrior nations of the past, but where are the English martial arts, the Roman martial arts, the Greek martial arts. They are unknown to us. But yet, beyond all logic, Israeli martial arts are among the most popular and respected in the world. And yet, this is not our ideal. A Krav Maga instructor in Israel does not hold the status of a rabbi, and I agree with this. The scholar takes precedence over the warrior, that is our culture. We honor Jacob, the dweller of tents, the family man, the humble spiritual man, that is our ideal. And yet, Jacob does know how to fight, he is our first known wrestler as is recorded in the Bible, his epic match with the Guardian of Esau.
The paradox, the great Krav Maga nation.
I take myself as an example; as a child I would be least likely to be chosen as a "most likely to succeed as a Combatives Military instructor". Even today I often hear...you are a Krav Maga instructor ? I thought you were the rabbi, or the math teacher ? I am happy to hear this. I am the son of Jacob, not Esau. I am proud to be of the Children of Israel. We are dwellers of tents but we know how to fight, when we must. We are ready.
There is scene in an Israeli mini series that inspired this blog. A young woman, extremally pious, a mother of five, is working hard to support her large family. A man walks into her house, he has a box cutter and he threatens to cut her neck. He knows she has money and he wants it all. He wants all her valuables, he has no compassion. She gives him her watch, a gift from her husband, but then something happens; she decides not to be a victim. She will not give away the money that she needs, it is for her children. She changes. She becomes a lioness. The criminal is chased out the door.
This to me epitomizes us, this is who we are, and this is why our martial arts are practiced, respected and used all over the world. We are that little woman who only wants to protect her family, who refuses to be a victim. We remain Jacob, a dweller of tents, but we know how to stand up to Esau, when we must. Remember we are David who defeated Goliath and we are Samson who terrorized the Philistines. Their blood still flows within us. This is the spirit of Krav Maga.
Train in all aspects of Krav Maga;
Possibility for ranking and instructor certification for appropriate candidates.
Training takes place in Maaleh Adumim, Judean desert, just outside Jerusalem.
For more information
The history of Israel as a fighting nation from the earliest Biblical days to our own times.
Where did it all begin? This book tells the story, It began with the Patriarch Abraham, and passed on through the generations of a proud nation defending their land from the Philistines, the Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Romans, the Arabs.
This book tells the story, prophets and warriors, judges of Israel and spiritual visionaries, Samson the judge of Israel, Deborah the Prophetess, Gideon and Yiftah, Ehud ben Gerah; who were they and what they fought for.
Availabe on Amazon, Kindle or directly from the author (signed copy)
Books by Moshe Katz